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Dr Linda Spencer

Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy

Linda is a senior lecturer in Physiotherapy. Linda began her academic career in UK by completing a BSc (hons) Sport and Exercise Science (University of Bath, 2003) and a BSc (hons) Physiotherapy (University of Southampton, 2007). She holds several postgraduate qualifications including a doctorate in Physiotherapy (Curtin University, 2020) and MSc Clinical Physiotherapy – manipulative therapy (Curtin University, 2011). She has worked clinically with a special interest in musculoskeletal physiotherapy in public and private settings in Western Australia for the past thirteen years.

Linda is an elite distance runner and former competitive swimmer and triathlete. Her sporting career highlights include being an Australian national half marathon (2017) and 10,000m (2012) medallist, Sydney city to surf winner (2013), and British Universities indoor 3000m gold medallist (2003). She has completed for Western Australia and the south of England over distance events and cross country and holds the course record for the Bognor prom 10km. She has completed a solo crossing (open water swim) of the 20km Rottnest channel (2009) and is a former member of the ‘Target 2004 squad’ for triathlon. In her spare time, Linda enjoys surfing and gardening.


Linda holds registration with the following professional bodies:

  • Health and Care Professions Council
  • Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

Linda teaches on the functional anatomy of the upper quadrant module.


  • 2020 Spencer L, McKenna L, Fary R, Ho R, Briffa K. Is breast size related to prevalent thoracic vertebral fracture? A cross-sectional study. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research Plus. 2020; 4(7). DOI: org/10.1002/jbm4.10371.
  • 2020 Spencer L, Fary R, McKenna L, Jacques A, Lalor J, Briffa K. The relationship between breast size and aspects of health and psychological wellbeing in mature-aged women. Women’s Health; 16 DOI: 10.1177/1745506520918335.
  • 2019 Spencer L, Fary R, McKenna L, Ho R, Briffa K. Thoracic kyphosis assessment in postmenopausal women: an examination of the Flexicurve method in comparison to radiological methods. Osteoporosis International. 2019; 30(10): 2009-2018. DOI: 10.1007/s00198-019-05023-5.
  • 2019 Spencer L, McKenna L, Fary R, Jacques A, Briffa K. Upper back pain in postmenopausal women and associated physical characteristics. PLoS One. 2019; DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0220452.
  • 2013 Spencer L, Briffa, K. Breast size, thoracic kyphosis & thoracic spine pain - association & relevance of bra fitting in post-menopausal women: a correlational study. Chiropractic and Manual Therapies. 2013; 21: 20. DOI: 10.1186/2045-709X-21-20.


Linda has a special interest in upper back pain and has dedicated her early research career to examining the association between breast size and upper back pain. Linda has presented research on this topic at the International Osteoporosis Foundation Asia-Pacific regional conference (2018) and at the World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress (2019). Linda hopes to continue contributing to the evidence base supporting a link between breast size and upper back pain and in her future work she hopes to explore possible mechanisms to explain a link and features of bra design that may be relevant.  

PHD Supervision

Linda completed her PhD under the supervision of Associate Professor Kathy Briffa, Dr Robyn Fary and Dr Leanda McKenna at Curtin University. The PhD advances knowledge on breast size as a factor associated with upper back pain in mature-aged women. Using cross-sectional and prospective study designs involving mature-aged women and women undergoing reduction mammoplasty, self-reported aspects of health and psychological wellbeing and physical characteristics were measured and examined in relation to breast size and upper back pain. The aim of the PhD thesis was to investigate the relationship between breast size and upper back pain in mature-aged women.