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Rodrigo Rizzo

Current Appointments

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
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Dr Rodrigo Rizzo is a Medical Research Future Funding (MRFF) Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and the School of Health Sciences, University of New South Wales (UNSW). Dr Rizzo is a physiotherapist with extensive clinical experience managing people with chronic pain. 

In his PhD, he summarised the effects of interventions for low back pain and explored new treatment targets to improve the management of low back pain. Dr Rizzo's research has substantially impacted the management of low back pain. His systematic review of medicines targeting neurotrophic factors supported pharmaceutical regulatory agencies (FDA, European Medicines Agency) to reject commercialising these medicines for people with chronic pain due to limited efficacy and potentially severe adverse effects. He conducted Cochrane overviews providing accessible and high-quality summaries of treatments for low back pain to facilitate treatment decision-making. 

Dr Rizzo has conducted randomised controlled trials and undertaken process evaluations (e.g., mediation analysis and qualitative analysis) of brain-targeted interventions for chronic low back pain. He pioneered combining hypnotic suggestions with pain education for back pain management. Dr Rizzo's innovative approach has been applied in several allied health teams to manage chronic pain, including Brazil's unified health system, Prince of Wales Hospital, St. George's Hospital, and St. Vincent's Hospital in Australia. Dr Rizzo's work has informed the development and implementation of a prescribable digital health intervention in primary care funded by the MRFF 2021 Primary Health Care Digital Innovations.


2023 May

“My Back is Fit for Movement”: A Qualitative Study Alongside a Randomized Controlled Trial for Chronic Low Back Pain

2023 Mar

Comparative effectiveness and safety of analgesic medicines for adults with acute non-specific low back pain: systematic review and network meta-analysis


Pharmacological treatments for low back pain in adults: an overview of Cochrane Reviews

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2022, 08 Nov

Evaluation of emotion-centric psychological interventions for chronic pain: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis

2022 Nov

Development of a booster intervention for graded sensorimotor retraining (RESOLVE) in people with persistent low back pain: A nested, randomised, feasibility trial

2022, 05 Aug

Feasibility and safety of combining repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and quadriceps strengthening exercise for chronic pain in knee osteoarthritis: a study protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial

2022, 02 Aug

Effect of Graded Sensorimotor Retraining on Pain Intensity in Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain

2022 Feb

A Systematic Review of the Reporting Quality of Observational Studies That Use Mediation Analyses


Impact of being first: comparing media coverage for two studies investigating the relationship between exercise and COVID-19

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2021 Oct

Targeting neurotrophic factors for low back pain and sciatica: a systematic review and meta-analysis