Mark Laslett

Mark Laslett

After graduation as a physiotherapist in 1971, Mark owned and operated his own private practices in Auckland from 1972-2001, including a specialist Spine Care Clinic (1991-1997). He completed the Diploma in Manipulative Therapy in 1976 and the Diploma in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy in 1991. Mark moved to Christchurch in 2005 and has practiced as an independent musculoskeletal consultant for PhysioSouth Ltd since then. 

Mark was a manipulative therapy instructor for the spine and upper and lower extremities for the NZ Manipulative Therapists Association 1980-1988 and was president 1988-89. He commenced teaching mobilization and manipulation workshops for the McKenzie Institute International as an international instructor in 1985 and added his own courses on the upper and lower extremities in 1990. Mark ceased active involvement in the McKenzie Institute in 1997. He has presented about 250 short courses in Scandinavia, Europe, North America and Australasia, and has presented at many international conferences with free papers and as keynote presenter. Most recently in 2013 he has completed a teaching tour of courses and conferences that included presentations in Finland, Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, France and the USA.

His academic and research interest is in the theory and practice of diagnostics as distinct from therapeutics. He has over 40 publications, contributed chapters to two multi-author books and published his own text Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy: The Upper Limb in 1996. See Reference List at end of this brief biography. Mark commenced doctoral studies at the University of Linköping, Sweden in 2001, successfully defending his thesis “Diagnostic accuracy of the clinical examination compared to available reference standards in chronic low back pain patients” in 2005. He became a Fellow of the New Zealand College of Physiotherapy in 2007 and served as a member of its Academic Board 2008-2014. He was a senior Research Fellow for AUT University from 2008-2012 supervising doctoral and Master’s research projects. He became the first physiotherapist to be registered as a clinical specialist in February 2014. Mark was made an honorary Life Member of Physiotherapy New Zealand in September 2014, and of the New Zealand Manipulative Physiotherapists Association in 2015. He continues to practice as a consultant clinician and remains active in clinical research.

Courses with Mark Laslett

Main areas of Interest
Painful musculoskeletal disorders of the spine and extremities with special emphasis on persistent low back, neck and shoulder pain. Musculoskeletal diagnostics (as distinct from therapeutics) remains an ongoing research interest. He is currently working with Dr Tom Petersen of Copenhagen on updating their lumbar spine classification system (2003) and with Dr Arianne Verhagen of Erasmus University in updating the systematic review of tests for lumbar radiculopathy. He is currently adjunct research fellow at AUT University on the basis of supervising a doctoral candidate whose research is based on the diagnostic accuracy of the clinical examination of the hip.


[1] Aprill C, Laslett M, McDonald B. Side of symptomatic annular tear and site of low back pain: is there a correlation? Spine (Phila Pa 1976 ) 2003;28:1347-1348.

[2] Berthelot J-M, Laslett M. Par quels signes clinicues s'assurer au mieux qu'une douleur est bien d'origine sacro-iliaque (sensu latu)? Revue du rhumatisme 2009;76:741-749.

[3] Cadogan A, Laslett M, Hing W, McNair P, Taylor S. Clinical predictors of a positive response to guided diagnostic block into the subacromial bursa. J Rehabil Med 2012;44:877-884.

[4] Cadogan A, Laslett M, Hing W, McNair P, Williams M. Interexaminer reliability of orthopaedic special tests used in the assessment of shoulder pain. Man Ther 2011;16:131-135.

[5] Cadogan A, Laslett M, Hing W, McNair P, Williams M. Reliability of a new hand-held dynamometer in measuring shoulder range of motion and strength. Man Ther 2011;16:97-101.

[6] Cadogan A, Laslett M, Hing WA, McNair PJ, Coates MH. A prospective study of shoulder pain in primary care: Prevalence of imaged pathology and response to guided diagnostic blocks. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2011;12:119.

[7] Cadogan A, McNair P, Laslett M, Hing W. Shoulder pain in primary care: diagnostic accuracy of clinical examination tests for non-traumatic acromioclavicular joint pain. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2013;14:156.

[8] Cadogan A, McNair P, Laslett M, Hing W, Taylor S. Diagnostic accuracy of clinical examination features for identifying large rotator cuff tears in primary health care . Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy 2013;21:148-159.

[9] Hancock MJ, Maher CG, Laslett M, Hay E, Koes B. Discussion paper: what happened to the 'bio' in the bio-psycho-social model of low back pain? Eur Spine J 2011;20:2105-2110.

[10] Hancock MJ, Maher CG, Latimer J, Spindler MF, McAuley JH, Laslett M, Bogduk N. Systematic review of tests to identify the disc, SIJ or facet joint as the source of low back pain. Eur Spine J 2007.

[11] Laslett M. Diagnosis of soft tissue lesions. Patient Management 1979. pp. 75-80.

[12] Laslett M. The role of physical therapy in soft tissue rheumatism. Patient Management 1986. pp. 57-68.

[13] Laslett M. Use of manipulative therapy for mechanical pain of spinal origin. Orthop Rev, Vol. 16 1987. pp. 65-73.

[14] Laslett M. Posterior capsulitis of the ankle: A common complication of the sprained ankle. NZ Journal of Physiotherapy, Vol. 16 1988. pp. 10-12.

[15] Laslett M. The value of the physical examination in diagnosis of painful sacroiliac joint pathologies. Spine (Phila Pa 1976 ) 1998;23:962-964.

[16] Laslett M. Bilateral buttock pain caused by aortic stenosis: a case report of claudication of the buttock. Manual Therapy, Vol. 5 2000. pp. 227-233.

[17] Laslett M. The diagnostic accuracy of the clinical examination compared to available reference standards in chronic low back pain patients. Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköpings universitet, 2005.

[18] Laslett M. Evidence-based diagnosis and treatment of the painful sacroiliac joint. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, Vol. 16 2008. pp. 142-152.

[19] Laslett M. Is clinical diagnosis of the source of low back pain possible, and where does it fit into clinical practice? Sportsphysio 2009;14-17.

[20] Laslett M. Manual correction of an acute lumbar lateral shift: maintenence of correction and rehabilitation: A case report with video. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, Vol. 17 2009. pp. 78-85.

[21] Laslett M. Painful disorders of the lumbar spine and pelvis: an evidence-based approach to classification, diagnosis and management: a 'super paradigm'? Mark Laslett, 2010.

[22] Laslett M. Differenzierungs-/provokations-tests und behandlung für das SIG. Manuelle Therapie, Vol. 16 2012. pp. 9-17.

[23] Laslett M, Aprill CN, McDonald B. Provocation sacroiliac joint tests have validity in the diagnosis of sacroiliac joint pain. Arch Phys Med Rehab, Vol. 87 2006. pp. 874-875.

[24] Laslett M, Aprill CN, McDonald B, Young SB. Diagnosis of sacroiliac joint pain: validity of individual provocation tests and composites of tests. Manual Therapy, Vol. 10 2005. pp. 207-218.

[25] Laslett M, Crothers C, Beattie P, Cregten L, Moses A. The frequency and incidence of low back pain/sciatica in an urban population. New Zealand Med J, Vol. 104 1991. pp. 424-426.

[26] Laslett M, Haswell K. Managing acute low back pain. N Z Med J 1996;109:284.

[27] Laslett M, McDonald B, Aprill CN, Tropp H, Oberg B. Clinical predictors of screening lumbar zygapophysial joint blocks: Development of clinical prediction rules. The Spine Journal, Vol. 6 2006. pp. 370-379.

[28] Laslett M, McDonald B, Tropp H, Aprill CN, Oberg B. Agreement between diagnoses reached by clinical examination and available reference standards: a prospective study of 216 patients with lumbopelvic pain. BMC Musculoskelet Disord., Vol. 6 2005. p. 28.

[29] Laslett M, McNair P, Cadogan A, Hing W. Comparison of a novel direct measure of rapid pain intensity change to traditional serial 100 mm VAS measurement of pain intensity. Clin J Pain 2012;28:675-682.

[30] Laslett M, Michaelsen DJ. A survey of patients suffering mechanical low back pain syndrome or sciatica treated with the "McKenzie Method". NZ Journal of Physiotherapy 1991. pp. 24-32.

[31] Laslett M, Oberg B, Aprill CN, McDonald B. Zygapophysial joint blocks in chronic low back pain: A test of Revel's model as a screening test. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, Vol. 5 2004. p. 43.

[32] Laslett M, Oberg B, Aprill CN, McDonald B. Centralization as a predictor of provocation discography results in chronic low back pain, and the influence of disability and distress on diagnostic power. The Spine Journal, Vol. 5 2005. pp. 370-380.

[33] Laslett M, Oberg B, Aprill CN, McDonald B. A study of clinical predictors of lumbar discogenic pain as determined by provocation discography. Eur Spine J, Vol. 15 2006. pp. 1473-1484.

[34] Laslett M, Steele M, Hing W, McNair P, Cadogan A. Shoulder pain patients in primary care--part 1: Clinical outcomes over 12 months following standardized diagnostic workup, corticosteroid injections, and community-based care. J Rehabil Med 2014;46:898-907.

[35] Laslett M, Van Wijmen P. Low back and referred pain:diagnosis and a proposed new system of classification. NZ Journal of Physiotherapy, Vol. 27 1999. pp. 5-14.

[36] Laslett M, Van Wijmen P. Dolore lombare e dolore lombare riferito: diagnosi e proposta per un nuovo sistema di classificazione. Riabilitazione Oggi, Vol. 20 2003. pp. 18-26.

[37] Laslett M, Williams M. The reliability of selected pain provocation tests for sacroiliac joint pathology. Spine., Vol. 19 1994. pp. 1243-1249.

[38] Laslett M, Young SB, Aprill CN, McDonald B. Diagnosing painful sacroiliac joints: a validity study of a McKenzie evaluation and sacroiliac joint provocation tests. Aust J Physiother, Vol. 49 2003. pp. 89-97.

[39] Petersen T, Laslett M, Olsen S, Thorsen H, Manniche C, Ekdahl C, Jacobsen S. Inter-tester reliability of a patho-anatomical classification of non-specific low back pain patients., Vol. Poster presentation. Alberta International Forum VII, Primary care research on low back pain, 2004.

[40] Petersen T, Laslett M, Thorsen H, Manniche C, Ekdahl C, Jacobsen S. Diagnostic classification on non-specific low back pain. A new system integrating patho-anatomic and clinical categories. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, Vol. 19 2003. pp. 213-237.

[41] Petersen T, Olsen S, Laslett M, Thorsen H, Manniche C, Ekdahl C, Jacobsen S. Classification of non-specific low back pain. Aspects of validity and reliability of a new classification system. Submitted 2001.

[42] Petersen T, Olsen S, Laslett M, Thorsen H, Manniche C, Ekdahl C, Jacobsen S. Inter-tester reliability of a new diagnostic classification system for patients with non-specific low back pain. Aust J Physio, Vol. 50 2004. pp. 85-91.

[43] van der Windt DA, Simons E, Riphagen II, Ammendolia C, Verhagen AP, Laslett M, Devillé W, Deyo RA, Bouter LM, de Vet HC, Aertgeerts B. Physical examination for lumbar radiculopathy due to disc herniation in patients with low-back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2010.

[44] van der Windt DAWM, Simons E, Riphagen I, Ammendolia C, Verhagen AP, Laslett M, Devillé W, Aertgeerts B, Deyo RA, Bouter LM, de Vet HCW. Physical examination for lumbar radiculopathy due to disc herniation in patients with low-back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008.

[45] White SG, McNair P, Laslett M, Hing W. Do patients undergoing physical testing report pain intensity reliably? Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken ) 2015;67:873-879.

[46] Young SB, Aprill CN, Laslett M. Correlation of clinical examination characteristics with three sources of chronic low back pain. The Spine Journal, Vol. 3 2003. pp. 460-465.