By: 13 December 2022
Bournemouth University’s Orthopaedic Research Institute leading research to cure hip pain with exercise

Bournemouth University’s Orthopaedic Research Institute (ORI) welcomed the Mayor of Bournemouth, Robert Lawton to its research facilities. The Mayor was hosted by Professor Rob Middleton and Professor Tom Wainwright on a tour to meet staff and learn more about the research conducted at ORI.

Mayor Lawton was a participant in one of ORI’s research studies, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), examining whether a programme, called the CHAIN programme, that uses cycling and education to treat hip pain as an alternative to surgery, will provide clinical benefits to patients, and economic savings to the NHS compared to routine physiotherapy treatment.  Mayor Lawton was given a series of exercises to help improve his hip pain.

Speaking about his experiences on the study, he said, “I was referred to the Orthopaedic Research Institute because of a problem with my hip and my experience whilst taking part in their research has been fantastic. You need to be active being a Mayor, there is a lot of walking. They have had me doing physical exercises and it has improved my hip performance and helped me to avoid surgery. If you are experiencing hip pain, please consider taking part in their research as the services available here could really help improve your quality of life.”

Professor Rob Middleton, of the Orthopaedic Research Institute and an orthopaedic surgeon at University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust, said, “Providing education and advice to patients, along with the right exercises is vital for both patients and the NHS. Hip replacements cost the NHS over £6,000 per patient, so avoiding surgery for hip problems reduces the burden on the NHS, saves money, and provides better outcomes for patients.”

Professor Tom Wainwright of the Orthopaedic Research Institute is also a physiotherapist at University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust and Chief Investigator of the study. He said, “We know this cycling treatment works, what we are looking to discover now is whether it works better and is more cost effective than traditional therapies. The outcomes of this research could change the way we treat hip pain in the UK, helping to benefit our patients and improve lives for thousands of people.”

ORI was established in 2015 with the aim to improve patient care locally and globally, by delivering world-leading research on arthritis and related treatments. Since then, the Institute has gone from strength-to-strength, securing over £4.4million of external grant income, and recruiting over 1300 patients as part of its research projects. Professor Robert Middleton, is internationally-recognised for his pioneering work leading the development of robotic hip replacement surgery, and in addition to this work, the institute also has active research projects looking at virtual reality surgical training, rehabilitation after surgery, and exercise and lifestyle interventions to help patients self-manage their arthritis.

If you have hip pain and would like to get involved in the research, please consult your GP to see if you may be suitable and ask to be referred to the outpatient physiotherapy department at Christchurch Hospital. A member of the research team will then contact you with further information.

For information about the CLEAT study and how to take part, visit:

Information about the Orthopaedic Research Institute, and the background and development of the CHAIN programme can be found at: