Dr Alex Benham, PhD

  • Senior Lecturer and Professional Lead for Physiotherapy, Institute of Health
  • Active Ageing Research Group (AARG)
  • Health and Wellbeing
Dr Alex Benham, PhD


After qualifying as a physiotherapist, Alex went on to complete his MSc in Musculoskeletal Healthcare from Keele and then his PhD in Pain management in 2011. He has held postdoctoral research positions working on a study investigating mirror therapy for upper-limb function in hemiparetic cerebral palsy, and in a team of researchers working on systematic reviews and clinical studies in the area of physical rehabilitation in older people and after stroke. Alex has recently returned to academia to work in the University of Cumbria after working the acute care sector as a physiotherapist and will be teaching across the MSc and BSc Physiotherapy courses.  

Qualifications and memberships

PG Cert Academic practice- York St John University

Ph.D. Pain science and Management – Leeds Metropolitan University

MSc.  Module: Introducing Acupuncture – Keele University

MSc. Neuromusculoskeletal Health Care – Keele University

BSc. (Hons) Physiotherapy – University of Brighton

HND Sports and Exercise therapy – Plymouth University

Academic and research interests

Musculoskeletal health care, Pain, Anatomy and Physiology, Research methods, Evidence based practice, Elderly rehabilitation and falls, Service development.

Research supervision

Alex is currently an external supervisor for a PhD titled: The assessment of posture managmeent in children with cerebral palsy. He currently is supervising two PhD students within the University of Cumbria.


Peer Reviewed Paper Publications

Benham, A. Bampouras, T. Donovan, T. (2019) A systematic review of the psychometric properties of clinical tools to measure dual-tasking ability in adults. PROSPERO international prospective register of systematic reviews. CRD42018092273.

Taylor, D. Jones, A. Parrott, K. Benham, A. (2018) Efficacy of unsupervised exercise interventions in chronic respiratory disease. PROSPERO international prospective register of systematic reviews. CRD42018092273

Brown L, Forster A, Young J, Crocker T, Benham A, Langhorne P. (2015) Medical day hospital care for the elderly versus alternative forms of care. Cochrane database of systematic reviews Issue 6 Art no: CD001730

Deconinck FJA, Smorenburg A, Benham A, Ledebt A, Feltham M , Savelsbergh GJ (2015) Reflections on Mirror Therapy: A Systematic Review of the Effect of Mirror Visual Feedback on the Brain. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. May;29(4):349-61

Benham A, Johnson M (2014) Effect of bidirectional rotation of an acupuncture needle at LI10 on acupuncture needle sensation and experimentally-induced contact heat pain in healthy human volunteers. Acupuncture in Medicine 32(3):267-72

Benham A, Johnson M. (2012) Characterisation of painful and non-painful acupuncture needle sensations during bi-directional rotation of a single needle at Large Intestine 10. Medical Acupuncture. 24:3 172-180

Benham A, Introwicz B, Waterfield J, Sim J, Derricott H, Mahon M. (2012) Intra-individual variations in the bifurcation of the radial nerve and the length of the posterior interosseous nerve. Manual Therapy 7: 22-26

Blenkinship A, Benham A, Tashani O, Johnson MI (2011) An investigation into the hypoalgesic effects of transcutaneous piezoelectric current on experimentally-induced thermal stimuli in healthy participants. Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. 14(3).242-247

Johnson MI, Benham A. (2010) Acupuncture needle sensation: the emerging evidence. Acupuncture in Medicine. 28:111-114

Benham A, Phillips G, Johnson MI. (2010). An experimental study on the self-report of acupuncture needle sensation during deep needling with bi-directional rotation. Acupuncture in Medicine. 28: 16-20

Benham A, Johnson MI. (2009).Could acupuncture needle sensation be a predictor of analgesic response? Acupuncture in Medicine. 27: 65-67

Poster and Oral Conference Presentations

George, F. Gabriel, L. Benham, A. (2019) Clinical Assessments designed to measure body alignment posture in children with cerebral palsy – A systematised review. (Poster presentation) Physiotherapy UK conference, Birmingham.

Powell, D. Benham, A. Stuart S, Godfrey, A. (2019) Objective measures of brain health: A pilot study with a somatosensory device in rugby union. (Oral presentation) Physiotherapy UK conference, Birmingham.

Benham, A. Brown, L. McKevitt, C. Forster, A. (2015) Information provision after stroke: A qualitative synthesis of the views andxperiences of stroke survivors and their carers. European Stroke Organisation Conference. International Journal of Stroke. Vol 10. Pg 60. (conference poster presentation)

Deconinck F, Benham A, Flavell J, Smorenburg A, Ledebt A, Savelserg G. (2015) Feasibility and effectiveness of mirror therapy for upper limb rehabilitation in children with unilateral spastic cerebral palsy. Conference abstract: Congress on Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. Maasctricht May 2015 (conference poster presentation)

Benham, A. (2014) The role of Deqi in acupuncture analgesia. Acupuncture Associate of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy conference, Hinckley, Leicester. (keynote presentation)

Henery C. Tashani O A, Benham A, Johnson MI. Does Body Fat Content affect Cold and Heat Pain thresholds in Healthy Adults? International association for the study of pain congress, Montreal, August 2010 (conference poster presentation)

Blenkinship A, Benham A, Tashani O, Johnson MI. Does Transcutaneous Piezoelectric Current affect Heat and Cold Pain Thresholds in Healthy Adults? British Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting, Surrey, March 2009 (conference poster presentation)

Benham A, Introwicz B, Waterfield J. An exploration into the presence of intra-individual differences of the bifurcation of the radial nerve and its interactidon with the radial tunnel. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Congress, Manchester, October 2008 (conference poster presentation)

Chen CC, Benham A, Tabasam G, Marchant P, Johnson MI. The hypoalgesic effects of high and low frequency Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) on cold induced pain in healthy human participants. British Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting, Liverpool, April 2008 (conference poster presentation)

Benham A, Introwicz B, Waterfield J, Derricott H, Mahon M. An investigation into intra-individual variations of the bifurcation of the radial nerve: British Association of Clinical Anatomists Summer Meet (oral presentation)

Recent external roles

Alex is on the International Advisory Board for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy's journal, Physiotherapy.