Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

16th May 2022

Welcome to the Pokohiwi Mārōrō – Otago Shoulder Health website!

We are delighted and excited to release this website providing information about shoulder pain to the Aotearoa New Zealand community. 

The Pokohiwi Mārōrō – Otago Shoulder Health project started at the School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, in 2016. We first explored experiences of people living with shoulder pain and with physiotherapists. We used information from those qualitative studies to design initial resources for physiotherapy consultations relevant for patients with rotator cuff related shoulder pain. We assessed those resources in a pilot study and a feasibility study at the School of Physiotherapy clinics in Dunedin and Christchurch.

Results from those studies informed the content of this website, with constant input from our participatory action research (PAR) group members. That group included seven people who were living with shoulder pain and six physiotherapists in clinical practice. Geographically, they were spread across Aotearoa from Auckland, Golden Bay, Central Otago to Dunedin, with a range of ethnicities. Over a series of five meetings, we gathered information that people with shoulder pain and provider physiotherapists suggested would be important for them. 

The research team included physiotherapists in clinical practice and in academia, science communication experts and a pain psychology researcher. Read more about them here. Thank you to Prof Jeremy Lewis, Consultant Physiotherapist, UK, and Prof Jean-Sébastien Roy, Laval University, Canada, for their expert review of the content of the website.

Filming the videos was fun and very ably directed by Jenny Stein, the science communicator. Thank you to Stuart MacKenzie from the University’s Media Production Team for filming. We worked with Turboweb (Dunedin) to construct the website: we thank Paul Southworth for his expertise and patience explaining construction of the website to us novices.

The Te Reo name of this project, Pokohiwi Mārōrō, was suggested by the University's Office of Māori Development. Translated directly into English, that refers to ‘Shoulder Strong’. When we have an image of a ‘strong shoulder’ and consider what we can do for our shoulder health and ‘whole body’ health, we expand our field of influence over the pain. We highlight that, to address pain, we need to consider our wider health and well-being, connections with important people in our life, and perhaps also connecting with nature. 

In that sense, we consciously chose the whakatauki for this project:

Ko te kaha kei te tinana, ko te mana kei te wairua 

The strength is in the body but the power is in the spirit. 

We welcome suggestions for the website via the provided email address - You are also welcome to send us an email to sign up for updates with further developments and news. 

Heartfelt ‘thank you’ to our PAR group members, colleagues and collaborators, expert advisors, and the patients and physiotherapists who participated at the various stages on this project. We sincerely hope that the information provided on the website will be useful for those living with shoulder pain to explore solutions, and to discuss thoughts, concerns and information with their health providers.

Gisela Sole, on behalf of the Research Team

Te Kura Komiri Pai / School of Physiotherapy
Te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou / University of Otago
Ōtepoti / Dunedin