Meet The Team

Dr Barbara Hungerford PhD, B.App Sci (Physiotherapy)

Barbara Hungerford, Director of Sydney Spine & Pelvis Physiotherapy Centre, has been a physiotherapist for over 25 years. Her inspiration to improve her own ability to treat peoples backs came from the many patients she saw in the early 1990's whose low back and pelvic pain had overtaken their capacity to enjoy life. Her own studies led her into teaching, and she founded Advanced Manual Therapy Associates P/L in 1995 as a vessel to provide educational courses for physiotherapists and medical practitioners. Barbara continues to provide these courses both in Australia and overseas. In 1997 she undertook a PhD that investigated the alteration of pelvic biomechanics and muscle recruitment in association with pelvic dysfunction. This was accepted in 2002 and she has since published this research in International Peer reviewed journals.  Please visit the AMTA website for more information. Barbara is also regularly asked to present her research, and ideas about treatment of back and pelvic pain, to medical conferences and physiotherapy groups internationally.

The opening of Sydney Spine & Pelvis Physiotherapy Centre in 2003 was a major achievement for Barb, as it provided an opportunity to create a centre of excellence in which the latest science of treatment could be combined with the passion to heal and help people regain control of their life and ease their pain. Clinically, she provides assessment, diagnosis, ant treatment for neck pain and headaches, upper back, thoracic and referred arm pain, low back and pelvic pain, hip pain, pregnancy related issues, visceral and cranio-sacral therapy.

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Vanessa Barnes B.App Sci (Physiotherapy)


Vanessa Barnes is an experienced physiotherapist who graduated in 2002 from Sydney University. She is also a qualified psychologist and a member of the Australian Physio Association and British Ballet Association.  Vanessa has worked in private practice for 15 years and has a strong background in sports Physiotherapy and musculoskeletal injuries that has focused her interests into treatment of low back and pelvic pain, treatment of difficult neck & thoracic and cranial injuries, pregnancy related injuries and sports related injuries. She combines her advanced skills in Muscle Energy techniques, McKenzie, Maitland, ISM and cranio-sacral approach to improve articular mobility and reduce joint pain and stiffness. Vanessa has also undergone extensive training with Barb Hungerford to develop her diagnostic skills and approach to manual therapy and approach to patient care. She has trained in Lumbo-Pelvic Stability retraining and Pilates approach to exercise rehabilitation and therefore combines manual therapy with exercise rehabilitation to assist each patient with full recovery. Vanessa has extensive experience in creating specific progressions in exercise rehabilitation programs for lumbo-pelvic, neck, and hip rehabilitation and is involved in running the Specific Exercise Classes provided at Sydney Spine and Pelvis Physiotherapy Centre plus teaching our Pilates matt classes.

Vanessa has attained her Level 3 Sports Certificate in 2012 and previously worked for a number of sports teams such as local rugby and soccer squads. She is also involved in treatment of ballet related injuries, including hip, knee and ankle injuries.

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Michelle Wong M. Physiotherapy, M. Ex. Sports Sci, B.Sc (Pyschology)

Michelle holds a Masters (Physiotherapy) & Exercise & Sports Science, and for the past 8 years she has concentrated her experience into diagnosis and treatment of pelvic and lower limb injuries, hip and lower limb injuries, plus sports injuries and exercise prescription.She combines her advanced skills in Muscle Energy techniques, Maitland,  ISM and visceral approach to improve articular mobility and reduce joint pain and stiffness. Michelle has also undergone extensive training with Barb Hungerford to develop her diagnostic skills and approach to manual therapy and approach to patient care. Michelle is also a keen dancer and therefore has a particular interest in Dance related injuries and assessment of young dancers requiring assessment or assistance to improve their movement strategies to minimise training and performance injuries.

Michelle’s treatments incorporate the latest evidence in manual therapy techniques and specificity in lumbo-pelvic stability retraining for pregnant mums, dancers, athletes, and people who have suffered an injury to their back, pelvis, rib cage and neck. Her experience includes specificity in rehabilitation following lower limb injuries such as hip labral tears, ligamentous injuries of the knee and ankle, and achilles tendonosis, and she co-ordinates and runs our Core Retraining classes at Sydney Spine & Pelvis Centre as well as providing Physio Pilates Classes.

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Jay Cunningham, B.App Sci (Physiotherapy) and Certified Pilates Instructor

Jay graduated from Sydney University in 1994 with a degree in Physiotherapy and focused her early career on Musculo-skeletal and Sports Physiotherapy. Jay then added post graduate training in Pilates Method for rehabilitation into her physiotherapy and fulfilled level 2 Instructor training.

From 2002 to 2010 Jay owned and ran the highly recognized CORE Physiotherapy and Pilates Centre in Roseville. Jay was well known for her specificity in creating treatment and rehabilitation programs for people with back, pelvic and upper body injuries, and began collaborating with Barb Hungerford at this time.

Since joining the Sydney Spine and Pelvis team Jay has trained intensively with Barbara Hungerford and brings a wealth of experience in both manual therapy and exercise rehabilitation, plus her depth of knowledge for teaching both Matt and Equipment Pilates. She has a particular clinical interest in the treatment of lumbo-pelvic pain, pregnancy related injuries, hip, thoracic ring and sporting trauma injuries. She uses a combination of muscle energy techniques, soft tissue release, joint mobilization, Real Time Ultrasound and exercise therapy including Pilates in her day to day treatment to assist her clients in their rehabilitation and full recovery from injuries.

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