Jackie Whittaker


Senior Scientist, Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, BScPT, PhD



  • Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, University of Calgary
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta


Research Interests

  • Osteoarthritis Prevention
  • Injury Prevention
  • Sport and Exercise Medicine
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Ultrasound Imaging

Dr. Jackie Whittaker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, at the University of British Columbia and is recognized as a Clinical Specialist in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. She completed her BScPT degree at the University of Alberta, PhD in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation at the University of Southampton (UK) and a post-doctoral fellowship supported by an Alberta Innovates Health Solutions Clinician Fellowship in injury prevention and epidemiology at the University of Calgary. She has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Research Director of the Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic at the University of Alberta.

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Dr. Whittaker’s research focuses on preventing osteoarthritis resulting from traumatic sport-related knee joint injuries through: improving care pathways; seeking a better understanding of the consequences of these injuries and; optimizing function and healthy behaviors in persons that have suffered a sport-related knee injury or developed osteoarthritis prematurely as a result. Her research program is supported by CIHR and the Arthritis Society.


Whittaker JL, Roos E. A pragmatic approach to prevent post-traumatic osteoarthritis after sports or exercise-related joint injury. Best Practice & Research. Clinical Rheumatology. Accepted April 2019


Emery CA, Whittaker JL, Lohmander S, Roos E, Bennell K, Toomey C, Ronsky J, Kuntze G, Lloyd D, Andriacchi T, Englund M, Kraus V, Losina E, Bierma-Zeinstra S, Runar J, Peat G, Reimer R, Luyten F, Snyder-Mackler L, Riseberg MA, Mobisheri A, Guermazi A, Hunter D, Arden NK. Recommendations for the development of common early pre-radiographic osteoarthritis outcomes appropriate for a primary care setting: A post-OARSI consensus. Nature Reviews Rheumatology. Accepted April 2019


Mohr M, von Tscharner V, Whittaker JL, Nigg BM, Emery CA. Quadriceps-hamstring intermuscular coherence during single-leg squatting 3-12 years following a youth sport-related knee injury. Human Movement Science 2019 May;66:273-284. PubMed PMID: 31078946. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31078946


Kenny S, Palacios-Derflingher L, Whittaker JL, Emery CA. Association between previous injury and risk factors for future injury in pre-professional ballet and contemporary dancers. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine 2019 May;29(3):209-217. PubMed PMID: 31033614. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31033614


Whittaker JL. Ellis R, Hodges P, O´Sullivan C, Hides J, Fernández-Carnero S, Arias-Buría JL, Teyhen D, Stokes M. The Evolution of Ultrasound Imaging Use in Physical Therapy: Implications for scope of practice and training recommendations. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2019 Apr 25. PubMed PMID: 31023858. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31023858


Chan M, Le CY, Dennett L, Defreitas T, Whittaker JL. Team-based musculoskeletal assessment and health quality indicator: A systematic review. Journal of Interproffesional Care 2019 Jan 28:1-8. PubMed PMID: 30686065. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30686065


Ren G, Whittaker JL, Leonard C, De Rantere D, Pang SJ, Salo P, Fritzler M, Kapoor M, de Koning J, Jaremko J, Emery CA, Krawetz RJ. CCL22 is a biomarker of cartilage injury and plays a functional role in chrondrocyte apoptosis. Cytokine 2019;115:32-44. PubMed PMID: 30623804. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30623804


Laudon J, Whittaker JL, Emery CA, Krawetz RJ. Serum cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) expression in individuals who sustained a youth sport-related intra-articular knee injury 3-10 years previously and uninjured matched controls. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 2019 Feb;27(2):286-293. PubMed PMID: 30317002. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30317002


Whittaker JL, Toomey C, Nettel-Aguirre A, Jaremko JL, Doyle-Baker PH, Woodhouse LJ, Emery CA. Health-related outcomes following a youth sport-related knee injury. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 2019 Feb;51(2):255-263. PubMed PMID: 30239493. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30239493


Ezzat A, Emery CA, Whittaker JL, Brussoni M. A qualitative investigation of the attitudes and beliefs about physical activity and post-traumatic osteoarthritis in young adults 3-10 years after an intra-articular knee injury. Physical Therapy in Sport 2018 Jul;32:98-108. PubMed PMID: 29778829. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29778829


Kenny SJ, Palacios-Derlingher L, Owoeye O, Whittaker JL, Emery CA. Between day reliability of pre-participation screening components in pre-professional ballet and contemporary dancers. Journal of Dance Medicine and Science 2018;12(1):54-62. PubMed PMID: 29510789.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29510789


Kenny S, Palacios-Derflingher L, Whittaker JL, Emery CA. The influence of injury definition on the interpretation of injury burden in pre-professional ballet and contemporary dancers. Journal of Orthopeadic and Sport Physical Therapy 2017;48(3):185-193. PubMed PMID: 29237356. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29237356


Sommerfeldt M, Goodine T, Raheem A, Whittaker JL, Otto D. The relationship between time to ACL reconstruction and the presence of adverse changes in knee at time of reconstruction. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine 2018 Dec 11;6(12). https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2325967118813917


Gross DP, Emery D, Long A, Reese H, Whittaker JL. A descriptive study of physiotherapist use of publically funded diagnostic imaging modalities in Alberta, Canada. European Journal of Physical Therapy 2018. https://doi.org/10.1080/21679169.2018.1505947


Sommerfeldt M, Raheem A, Whittaker JL, Hui C, Otto D. Recurrent instability episodes, meniscus and cartilage damage after anterior cruciate ligament injury: A systematic review. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine. 2018 24;6(7). https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2325967118786507


Ezzat A, Whittaker JL, Toomey, C, Doyle-Baker PK, Emery CA. Knee confidence concerns in youth and young adults at risk of post-traumatic osteoarthritis 3-10 years following intra-articular knee injury. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 2018; 21(7):671-675. PubMed PMID: 29233667. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29233667


Manseer T, Gross D, Dennet L, Schneider K, Whittaker JL. Gait deviations associated with concussion: A systematic review.  Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. 2017 Nov 21. PubMed PMID: 29194058. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29194058


Whittaker JL, Toomey C, Woodhouse LJ, Jaremko J, Nettel-Aguirre A, Emery CA. Association between MRI defined osteoarthritis, pain, function and strength 3-10 years following knee joint injury in youth sport. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2018;52:934-939. PubMed PMID: 29018061. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29018061


Kuntze G, Nesbitt C, WhittakerJL, Nettel-Aguirre A, Toomey C, Esau S, Doyle-Baker P, Shank J, Brooks J, Benseler S, Emery CA. Exercise therapy in juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2018;99(1):178-193. PubMed PMID: 28729171. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28729171


Toomey CM, Whittaker JL, Nettel-Aguirre A, Reimer RA, Woodhouse LJ, Ghali B, Doyle-Baker PK, Emery CA. Higher fat mass is associated with a history of knee injury in youth sport. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sport Physical Therapy. 2017;47(2):80-87. PubMed PMID: 28142363. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28142363


Whittaker JL, Booysen N, de la Motte S, Dennett L, Lewis CL, Wilson D, McKay C, Warner M, Padua D, Emery CA, Stokes M. Predicting sport and occupation lower extremity injury risk through movement quality screening: A systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2017;51:580-585. PubMed PMID: 27935483. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27935483


Baltich J, Emery CA, Whittaker JL, Nigg BM. Running injuries in novice runners enrolled in strength training interventions: A randomized controlled trial. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sport. 2017;27(11):1372-1383. PubMed PMID: 27486011. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27486011


MacDonald K, Bahr R, Baltich J, Whittaker JL, Meeuwisse WH. Validation of an inertial measurement unit for the measurement of jump count and height. Physical Therapy in Sport. 2016;25:15-19. PubMed PMID: 28254580. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28254580


Allen KD, Choong PF, Davis AM, Dowsey MM, Dziedzic KS, Emery CA, Hunter DJ, Losina E, Page AE, Roos EM, Skou ST, Thorstensson CA, van der Esch M, Whittaker JL. Osteoarthritis:  Models for appropriate care across the disease continuum. Best Practice and Research. Clinical Rheumatology. 2016;30:503-535. PubMed PMID: 27886944. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27886944


Kenny S, Whittaker JL, Emery CA. Risk factors for injury in adolescent pre-professional dancers: A systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2015;50:997-1003. PubMed PMID: 26626269. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed


Emery CA, Roy TO, Whittaker JL, Nettel-Aguirre A., van Mechelen W. Neuromuscular training Injury prevention strategies in youth sport: A systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2015;49(13):865-70. PubMed PMID: 26084526. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26084526


Baltich J, Whittaker JL, Nettel-Aguirre A, Von Tscharner V, Nigg B, Emery CA. The impact of previous knee injury on force plate and field-based measures of balance. Clinical Biomechanics. 2015;30(8):832-38. PubMed PMID: 26094135. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26094135


Whittaker JL, Small SC, Maffey L, Emery CA. Risk factor for groin injuries in athletes: An updated systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2015 Jul;49(12):803-809. PubMed PMID: 25833903. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25833903


Whittaker JL, Woodhouse L, Nettel-Aguirre A, Emery CA. Outcomes associated with early post-traumatic osteoarthritis and other negative health consequences 3-10 years post knee joint injury in youth sport. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 2015:23(7):1122-1129. PubMed PMID: 25725392. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25725392


Whittaker JL, Emery CA. Impact of the FIFA11+ on the structure of the trunk and lower extremity muscles in adolescent female soccer players. Physical Therapy in Sport. 2015:16(3);228-235. PubMed PMID: 25869424. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25869424


Whittaker JL, Emery CA. Sonographic Measures of the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and vastus mediallis. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sport Physical Therapy. 2014;44(8):627-632. PubMed PMID: 25029916. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25029916


Whittaker JL, McLean L, Hodder J, Warner MB, Stokes MJ. Association between changes in Electromyographic signal amplitude and abdominal muscle thickness in individuals with and without lumbopelvic pain. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sport Physical Therapy. 2013;43(7):466-477. PubMed PMID: 23633621. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23633621


Whittaker JL, Warner MB, Stokes MJ. Comparison of the sonographic features of the abdominal wall muscles and connective tissues in people with and without lumbopelvic pain. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sport Physical Therapy. 2013;43(1):11-19. PubMed PMID: 23160368. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23160368


Whittaker JL, Stokes M. Ultrasound imaging and muscle function. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sport Physical Therapy. 2011;41:572-80. PubMed PMID: 21654098. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21654098


Whittaker JL, Warner MB, Stokes M. Ultrasound imaging transducer motion during clinical maneuvers: respiration, active straight leg raise test and abdominal drawing in. Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology. 2010;36(8):1288-1297. PubMed PMID: 20598434. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20598434


Whittaker JL, Warner MB, Stokes MJ. Induced transducer orientation during ultrasound imaging: effects on abdominal muscle thickness and bladder position. Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology. 2009;35(11):1803-1811. PubMed PMID: 19699027. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19699027


Teyhen DS, Bluemle L, Dolbeer J, Baker S, Molloy J, Whittaker JL, Childs J. Changes in lateral abdominal muscle thickness during the abdominal drawing-in maneuver in those with lumbopelvic pain. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sport Physical Therapy. 2009; 39(11): 791-798. PubMed PMID: 19881003. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19881003


Teyhen DS, Williamson JN, Carlson NH, Suttles ST, O’Laughlin SJ, Whittaker JL, Goffar SL, Childs JD. Ultrasound characteristics of the deep abdominal muscles during the active straight leg raise test. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2009; 90:761-767. PubMed PMID: 19406295. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19406295


Teyhen DS, Gill NW, Whittaker JL, et al. Rehabilitative ultrasound imaging of the abdominal muscles. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sport Physical Therapy.  2007:37(8):450-466. PubMed PMID: 17877281. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17877281


Whittaker JL, Thompson JA, Teyhen DS, Hodges PW.  Rehabilitative ultrasound imaging the pelvic floor muscles.  Journal of Orthopaedic and Sport Physical Therapy. 2007:37(8):487-498. PubMed PMID: 17877285. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17877285


Whittaker JL, Teyhen DS, Elliott JE, et al. Rehabilitative ultrasound imaging: understanding the technology and application. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sport Physical Therapy.  2007:37(8):434-449. PubMed PMID: 17877280.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17877280


Whittaker JL. Ultrasound imaging of the abdominal muscles in individuals with lumbopelvic pain and signs of concurrent hypocapnia. Manual Therapy 2007;13(5):404-410. PubMed PMID: 17544826. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17544826

Whittaker JL.  Abdominal ultrasound imaging of pelvic floor muscle function in individuals with low back pain.  J Man Manip Ther 2004; 12(1): 44-49. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/106698104790825491