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Jackie Whittaker, PhD, BScPT

Assistant Professor

Rehabilitation Medicine

Physical Therapy

About Me


  • Academic training began in sciences and physical education and recreation before being admitted and completing a physical therapy degree at the University of Alberta.
  • Worked clinically as a physical therapist, primarily in musculoskeletal private practice, for 21 years in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. During that time received certifications in manual and manipulative therapy (FCAMPT), acupuncture (CAFCI), dry needling (CGIMS) and ultrasound imaging as well as recognition as one of eight original clinical specialists in musculoskeletal physical therapy by the Canadian Physical Therapy Association.
  • Completed a PhD in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation for a project entitled "Ultrasound Imaging of the Abdominal Muscles and Bladder: Implications for the Clinical Assessment of Individuals with Lumbopelvic Pain" from the University of Southampton, UK.
  • After postdoctoral work (epidemiological and biostatistical approaches to informing secondary prevention of osteoarthritis after youth sport-related knee injuries) at the Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, University of Calgary (Faculty of Kinesiology) joined the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, Department of Physical therapy as an Assistant Professor and Research Director of the Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic.
  • Currently hold adjunct positions in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary and is an Associate Member of the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis.


Research Interests

Jackie is a well known clinical educator and has made significant contributions to the evidence-base informing the use of ultrasound imaging to assess muscle function in individuals with low back and pelvic girdle pain. More recently her work has focused on prevention of youth sport injuries and the consequences of youth sport injuries as it relates to the origins of chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis and obesity. Jackie's overarching interests lie in scientific inquiry that will substantially influence a shift in the approach taken to manage chronic musculoskeletal disorders, from treatment of chronic or reoccurring dysfunction, towards prevention and delaying or halting the onset of dysfunction.

Current Research

  • The Alberta Youth Prevention of Early Osteoarthritis (PrE-OA) Study: This is an ongoing longitudinal historical cohort study investigating the consequences of sport-related, intra-articular knee injury sustained under the age of 18 years as it relates to osteoarthritis and obesity.
  • The association of return to sport and outcomes of adiposity, physical activity participation, nutrition as well as desire and readiness to return to sport after an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury sustained during youth sport participation.
  • Primary and secondary prevention of post-traumatic osteoarthritis in youth and young adult populations.
  • Tertiary prevention of ostoearthritis
  • Primary and secondary prevention of chronic low back and pelvic girdle pain.
  • Appropriate use of diagnostic imaging for management of musculoskeletal injuries/conditions 
  • Healthcare pathways for musculoskeletal injuries/conditions
  • Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging