Publications and related activities


McGrath, MC. Osteopathic Treatment and TMJ pain dysfunction syndrome. (1991) New Zealand Register of Osteopaths Journal, vol 5.

McGrath, MC. Osteopathic Management of the degenerative hip joint. New Zealand Register of Osteopaths Journal, 1993: vol 6.

McGrath, MC. Review of the role of intra-abdominal pressure as a mechanism for the reduction of axial loading in the lumbar spine. New Zealand Register of Osteopaths Journal, 1990, 4:8–14. (abridged from dissertation for Postgraduate diploma in Biomechanics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. 1990)

McGrath, MC. Sacral stress fracture in a female distance runner. Journal of Osteopathic Education, 1994, 4(2):63-4.

McGrath, MC. New Zealand Osteopathic Snapshot Survey 1995. New Zealand Register of Osteopaths, May 1995.

McGrath, MC. Spina bifida occulta in the lumbosacral spine: anatomical observations of the posterior soft tissues related to radiological findings in cadavers. Thesis by research, submitted in fulfilment for the degree of Master of Science, anatomy, University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ. June 1998

Inaugural (1st ICAOR) international conference on Advances in Osteopathic Medicine Research, British College of Osteopathic Medicine, London. Accepted abstract (based on MSc (anat)(Otago) thesis: Spina bifida occulta of the lumbosacral spine: anatomical observations of the posterior soft tissues related to radiological findings in cadavers, May 1999.

New Zealand Acute Low Back Pain Guide October 2004 Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Corporation (ACC), Wellington. Acknowledgements: Member of ALBP Guide developing Expert Panel and Osteopathic representative (since 1997).

McGrath, MC. A review of the physiology of cranial osteopathy: viewpoint. Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, 2003, 6(2):84-86.

International Conference (3rd ICAOR) for Advances in Osteopathic Medicine Research, Victoria University of Technology, Melbourne. Anatomical evidence for sutural motion of the cranial bones.Review of the anatomical literature of the cranial bones and sutural biology; McGrath MC, Mercer S, Received ‘best young researcher award’ . Presentation highlighted the paucity of morphological and biological evidence for cranial bone movement, February 2002

McGrath, MC. Clinical considerations of sacroiliac joint anatomy: a review of function, motion and pain. Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, 2004, 7(1):16-24.

McGrath, MC. Tayles, N. Anatomical observations related to radiological findings in spina bifida occulta (SBO) of the lumbar spine. Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, 2004, 7(2):70-78.

McGrath, MC. Zhang, M. Lateral branches of the dorsal sacral nerve plexus and the long posterior sacroiliac ligament. Surgical and Radiological Anatomy, 2005, 27(4):327-30.

McGrath, MC. Palpation of the sacroiliac joint: an anatomical and sensory challenge. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine 9 (2006) 103 – 107 March 2006. doi: 10.1016/j.ijosm.2006.03.001

McGrath, MC, Zhang, M. Australia and New Zealand Association of Clinical Anatomists Conference (ANZACA) 3rd/4th September, 2005, Otago School of Medical Sciences, Dunedin, NZ. Poster presentation : ‘The detailed morphology of the long posterior sacroiliac ligament’.

Keynote address Australian Osteopathic Convocation, September 2007 Christchurch, NZ: Chronic Back Pain: The Sacroiliac Region: The Devil’s in the Morphological Detail’.

Dunedin Osteopathic Peer Group: organised, developed and run in the Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, University of Otago, November 24th, 2007: Review of SIJ morphology and motion, new morphological research in the posterior sacroiliac region, anatomy laboratory session of pelvis.

McGrath MC. Nicholson H, Hurst P. The long posterior sacroiliac ligament: a histological study of morphological relations in the posterior sacroiliac region. Joint Bone Spine. 2009 Jan;76(1):57-62. Epub 2008 Sep 25.(2008), doi:10.1016/j.jbspin.2008.02.015

Dunedin Osteopathic Peer Group: organised. developed and run in the Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, University of Otago, May 24th, 2008 Clinical and anatomical considerations of the thoracic outlet syndrome. A review of morphology and current clinical research at the superior thoracic aperture and anatomy laboratory session.

Dunedin Osteopathic Peer Group: organised. developed and run in the Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, University of Otago, December 5th, 2009 Clinical and anatomical considerations of the shoulder joint: anatomical ‘hot spots’ at the shoulder. Lecture and lab.

McGrath MC. The relationship between the long posterior sacroiliac ligament and the posterior sacrococcygeal plexus. Record number: 151710, Australasian Digital Thesis Program. Identfier:

McGrath MC, Nicholson H. The sacral thoracolumbar fascia. Conference abstract: Fifth meeting Australia and New Zealand Association of Clinical Anatomists, November 27 – 28, 2008, University of Auckland Medical School. Clinical Anatomy 20:399 – 409 (2009)

McGrath MC, Nicholson H, Hurst P. Le long ligament sacro-iliaque posterieur : etude histologique de ses rapports dans la region sacro-iliaque posterieure. Revue du rhumatisme, November 2008. doi: 10.1016/j.rhum.2008.02.022

McGrath MC. Composite sacroiliac joint pain provocation tests: a question of clinical significance. Published online 21.08.2009 International Journal Osteopathic Medicine, doi:10.1016/j.ijosm.2009.06.002

McGrath MC, Nicholson H, Hurst P. Branch blockade of the dorsal sacral rami. Letter to the editor. Pain Medicine 2010; 11: 281 – 82

McGrath MC, Stringer MD. Bony landmarks in the sacral region: the posterior superior iliac spine and the second dorsal sacral foramina: a potential guide for sonography. Published online 10 November 2010. Surgical and Radiological Anatomy, doi: 10.1007/s00276-010-0735-0

McGrath MC, Jeffery R, Stringer MD. The dorsal sacral rami and branches: Sonographic visualisation of their vascular signature. Published on line December 2011, International Journal Osteopathic Medicine, doi:10.1016/j.ijosm.2011.09.002

McGrath MC. From distinct to indistinct, the life cycle of a medical heresy. Is osteopathic distinctiveness an anachronism? Published on line October 2012, International Journal Osteopathic Medicine,doi:10.1016/j.ijosm.2012.08.004

Singh RA, McGrath MC. Editorial - Education for practitioners and patients. Australasian Medical Journal, 2013, 6, 12, 724 - 26.

Podiatry NZ Annual Conference, Anatomy Masterclass, Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, Thursday 13th November 2014. Contributed and co-presented.

McGrath MC. Editorial - Can a cricket ball influence societal change? Exemplifying societal dichotomy in the tolerance of risk. Australasian Medical Journal, 2014;7(12):518–521.

McGrath MC. A global view of osteopathic practice - mirror or echo chamber? International Journal Osteopathic Medicine, doi:10.1016/j.ijosm.2015.01.004

McGrath MC. Charcot-Marie-Tooth 1A: a narrative review with clinical and anatomical perspectives. Clinical Anatomy. ePub 2015 Oct 12. Clinical Anatomy 29:547–554 (2016) doi: 10.1002/ca.22653

McGrath MC. The Vulcan Nerve Pinch - cultural iconography anchors the proposal of a novel manual approach, the Bow-strong technique. International Journal of Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 2017;5(5). DOI: 10.15406/ijcam.2017.05.00162

McGrath MC. Editorial - Precision medicine, imprecision medicine two ends of a biological telescope? The Journal of Health Design


Your health-span


The findings of a recent study (Garcia-Valles et al. 2013) highlighted the idea that regular activity does not prolong life-span. On the other hand, it extends the health-span. They also reported that brain derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) remain elevated in exercisers, as does mitochondrial activity (energy generators) in the muscles of exercisers. BDNF is important for neuroplasticity, that is, the biological ability to learn, feel and intellectually orchestrate new things, to lay down or modify neural pathways in the brain, in essence to possess a potential toward readily adaptable behaviour.

The authors concluded from their study that:

"life-long spontaneous exercise did not prolong longevity but prevented several signs of frailty (that is, decrease in strength, endurance and motor coordination). This improvement was accompanied by a significant increase in the mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle and in the cortical BDNF levels."

Movement builds quality of life through 'health span'.

Identify an activity that you simply enjoy - that way it is far more likely to be sustainable. You'll be less likely to get bored. Once it's established as a habit and you've accrued time doing it, the 'health span' effects will become obvious, and others will notice too.