Jean-Francois Esculier

Jean-Francois Esculier

Vice-President, Director Research and Development Vancouver

PT, PhD, Sport Physiotherapy Certificate

Jean-Francois Esculier (J-F) graduated from the University of Ottawa's physiotherapy program in 2009. Over the past 10 years, he has embraced the role of clinician-researcher, treating runners of all levels (recreational to professional and Olympic athletes) and people with a variety of sports injuries. In addition to completing his Masters and PhD on knee pain in runners, he obtained his Certificate of Sport Physiotherapy (Sport Physiotherapy Canada). J-F is an active researcher interested in knee pain (patellofemoral pain, knee osteoarthritis), running biomechanics and running footwear. He is currently finishing a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of British Columbia exploring patient education, running biomechanics, footwear and knee cartilage MRI in older runners with knee osteoarthritis. J-F has been teaching to health professionals internationally with The Running Clinic since 2011 (Canada, USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, France).


J-F has published 28 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including 19 as the lead author. He was instrumental in obtaining over $1.5 million in research funding with his different research teams to produce clinically-relevant research.


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Physical Therapy and Motion Analysis and Biofeedback Laboratory - MABLab (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)
    • Running and knee osteoarthritis
  • Ph.D. Experimental medicine: patellofemoral pain (PFP) in recreational runners (Laval University, Quebec City, Canada; 2017)
    • Randomized clinical trial comparing treatment approaches in runners with PFP
    • Gait retraining for runners with PFP
    • Running footwear and PFP
    • Development of the Minimalist Index, which aims at characterizing the level of minimalism of running shoes
  • Master's degree in Experimental medicine: PFP in recreational runners (Laval University, Quebec City, Canada; 2014)
    • Comparing running biomechanics of runners with and without PFP (kinematics, kinetics, EMG)
    • Intervention study on pain, function and running biomechanics of runners with PFP
    • Systematic review on self-reported questionnaires to assess individuals with PFP
    • Translation and cross-cultural adaptation of the KOS-ADLS questionnaire to assess levels of symptoms and functional limitations in individuals with knee pain
  • Bachelor degree in Physiotherapy (Summa Cum Laude) (University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada; 2009)
  • Certificate in Sports Physiotherapy (Sport Physiotherapy Canada, a branch of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association; 2013)
  • Member of the College of Physical Therapists of British Columbia (CPTBC)
  • Member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) and its sports division
  • Member of the Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia (PABC)
  • Member of the "Ordre professionnel de la physiothérapie du Québec (OPPQ)"
  • Member of the "Réseau provincial de recherche en adaptation-réadaptation du Québec (REPAR)"
  • International member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
  • Member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • Member of Arthritis Research Canada (ARC)
  • Member of the Athletic Trainers’ Osteoarthritis Consortium (ATOAC)

Teaching Experience

  • The Running Clinic
    • Course 1.0 (New trends in the prevention of running injuries)
    • Course 1.1 (Diagnosis and treatment of running injuries - Practical)
    • Course 2.0 (Running expert)
    • Over 70 courses in 7 countries since 2011
  • Teaching Postdoctoral Fellow, Physical Therapy Department, University of British Columbia (since 2017)
    • Biomechanics
    • Running injuries
    • Pathology
  • Clinical skills assistant, Physical Therapy Department, University of British Columbia (since 2016)
    • Biomechanics
    • Orthopedic assessment
  • Post-graduate level teaching, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University (2016, 2018)
    • Evidence-based practice in physiotherapy for manual therapists
  • Courses in 1st, 2nd and 3rd year of Physiotherapy, Laval University (2013-2016)
    • Measures and evaluations
    • Critical reading of the scientific literature
    • Sports physiotherapy / Running

Continuing Education

  • Several orthopaedic and sport injuries conferences and symposia (ACSM, APTA-CSM, CASEM, CPA, OARSI, PFP Retreat, Danish SportsKongres, etc.)
  • Patellofemoral pain: A Critical Review of Evaluation and Treatment Techniques (Christopher Powers)
  • Functional Biomechanics of the Lower Quarter II: Evaluation and Treatment of Movement Dysfunction: Gait and Running (Christopher Powers)
  • Evaluation and treatment of the injured runner (Irene Davis)
  • Functional Movement Assessment for the Manual Therapist (FMS/SFMA) (Kyle Kiesel)
  • Building a running clinic: more than a treadmill and a camera (Bryan Heiderscheit, Blaise Williams, Scott Miller)
  • Therapeutic Exercises (Bruce Craven)
  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement System Impairment Syndromes (Shirley Sahrmann)
  • McKenzie MDT
    • Part A (lumbar spine)
    • Part B (cervical and thoracic spine)
  • Neuroproprioceptive taping Level 1
  • Sports First Responder
  • Manual Therapy
    • CAMPT: Level 1, Level 2 (upper quadrant), Level 2 (lower quadrant)
    • Evaluation and treatment of the pelvis

Professional Achievements

  • Chair of Scientific Committee, 3rd World Congress of Sports Physical Therapy, Vancouver Oct 4-5, 2019
  • President, BC Sports & Exercise Medicine Research Foundation
  • Physiotherapist for various regional and provincial sporting events (2009-2015)
  • Physiotherapist for les Jeux du Québec 2012 (Shawinigan, QC)
  • Physiotherapist for the Quebec Open Jeep Beach Volley-ball (2011)
  • Physiotherapist for les Elans du College FX Garneau AAA Men’s soccer team (2010)
  • Physiotherapist for les Jeux du Québec 2010 (Gatineau, QC)
  • Physiotherapist for Champlain St-Lawrence Women’s AAA Basketball team (2009-2010)
  • Physiotherapist for Champlain St-Lawrence College athletes (2009-2010)

Research in Physiotherapy

Published peer-reviewed scientific papers

28. Dubois B, Esculier JF. (2019). Soft tissue injuries simply need PEACE & LOVE. British Journal of Sports Medicine. In Press.
27. Esculier JF, Jarrett M, Krowchuk NM, Rauscher A, Wiggermann V, Taunton JE, Wilson D, Gatti A, Hunt MA. (2019). Cartilage recovery in runners with and without knee osteoarthritis: A pilot study. The Knee. In Press.
26. Hollman H, Ezzat A, Esculier JF, Gustafson P, Scott A. (2019). Effects of tailored advice on injury prevention knowledge and behaviours in runners: secondary analysis from a randomised controlled trial. Physical Therapy in Sport. 37:164-170.
25. Esculier JF, Barton CJ, Whiteley R, Napier C. (2018). Involving clinicians in sports medicine and physiotherapy research – “Design thinking” to help bridge gaps between practice and evidence. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 52(24):1550-1551.
24. Esculier JF, Krowchuk NM, Li LC, Taunton JE, Hunt MA. (2018). What are the perceptions about running and knee joint health among the public and healthcare practitioners in Canada? PLoS One. 13(10):e0204872.
23. Esculier JF, Dubois B, Roy JS. (2018). Response to: ‘Optimising the efficacy of gait retraining’. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 53(9):530-531.
22. Esculier JF, Silvini T, Bouyer LJ, Roy JS. (2018). Video-based assessment of foot strike pattern and step rate is valid and reliable in runners with patellofemoral pain. Physical Therapy in Sport. 29:108-112.
21. Barton CJ, Esculier JF. (2018). Letter to the Editor: No evidence exists to support manual therapy in physical therapy practice for patellofemoral pain. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy. 48(7):598-599.
20. Pairot de Fontenay B, Esculier JF, Bouyer LB, Roy JS. (2018). Hip kinematics during functional tasks in females with patellofemoral pain: Modification following rehabilitation and correlation with clinical improvement. Physical Therapy in Sport. 32:7-14.
19. Esculier JF, Bouyer LJ, Dubois B, Frémont P, Moore L, McFadyen BJ, Roy JS. (2018). Is combining gait retraining or an exercise programme with education better than education alone in treating runners with patellofemoral pain? A randomised clinical trial. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 52(10):659-666.
18. Esculier JF, Bouyer LJ, Dubois B, Leblond J, Brisson M, Chau L, Roy JS. (2018). Predictors of clinical success in runners with patellofemoral pain: secondary analyses of a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 21(8):777-782.
17. Esculier JF, Willy RW, Baggaley M, Meardon SA, Willson JD. (2017). Sex-specific kinetic and kinematic indicators of medial tibiofemoral force during walking and running. The Knee. 24(6):1317-1325.
16. Napier C, Esculier JF, Hunt MA. (2017). Gait retraining: out of the lab and onto the streets with the benefit of wearables. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 51(23):1642-1643.
15. Esculier JF, Dubois B, Bouyer LJ, McFadyen BJ, Roy JS. (2017). Footwear characteristics are related to running mechanics in runners with patellofemoral pain. Gait & Posture. 6(54):144-147.
14. Esculier JF, Bouyer LJ, Dubois B, Frémont P, Moore L, McFadyen BJ, Roy JS. (2017). Infographic: treating runners with patellofemoral pain: appropriate education is key. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 52(13):824-825.
13. Esculier JF, Bouyer LJ, Frémont P, Moore L, Roy JS. (2016). Effects of rehabilitation approaches for runners with patellofemoral pain: Protocol of a randomised clinical trial addressing specific underlying mechanisms. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 17(1):5.
12. Crossley KM, Stefanik JJ, Selfe J, Collins NJ, Davis IS, Powers CM, McConnell J, Vicenzino B, Bazett-Jones DM, Esculier JF, Morrissey D, Callaghan MJ. (2016). 2016 Patellofemoral pain consensus statement from the 4th International Patellofemoral Pain Research Retreat, Manchester. Part 1: Terminology, definitions, clinical examination, natural history, patellofemoral osteoarthritis and patient-reported outcome measures. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 50(14):839-843.
11. Esculier JF, Roy JS, Bouyer LJ. (2016). The effects of a multimodal rehabilitation program on symptoms and ground reaction forces in runners with patellofemoral pain. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation. 25(1):23-30.
10. Esculier JF. (2016). Mise à jour sur le syndrome fémoropatellaire (Update on patellofemoral pain). Physio-Québec. 43(2):16-18.
9. Esculier JF, Dubois B, Dionne CE, Leblond J, Roy JS. (2015). A consensus definition and rating scale for minimalist shoes. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research. 8:42.
8. Esculier JF, Roy JS, Bouyer LJ. (2015). Lower limb control and strength in runners with and without patellofemoral pain syndrome. Gait & Posture. 41(3):813-819.
7. Dubois B, Esculier JF, Moore L, Richards C, Frémont P. (2015). Effects of minimalist and traditional running shoes on injury rates: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Footwear Science. 7(3):159-164.
6. Esculier JF, Bouyer L, Roy JS. (2014). Effets d'un programme de réadaptation sur les symptômes et la biomécanique de coureurs récréatifs souffrant d'un syndrome fémoropatellaire. Physio-Québec. 2(40):20-21.
5. Esculier JF, Vaudrin J, Tremblay LE. (2014). Corticomotor excitability in Parkinson's disease during observation, imagery and imitation of action: effects of rehabilitation using Wii Fit and comparison to healthy controls. Journal of Parkinson's disease. 4(1):67-75.
4. Roy JS, Esculier JF, Maltais DB. (2013). Translation, cross-cultural adaptation and validation of the French version of the Knee Outcome Survey-Activities of Daily Living Scale. Clinical Rehabilitation. 28(6):614-623.
3. Esculier JF, Roy JS, Bouyer LJ. (2013). Psychometric evidence of self-reported questionnaires for patellofemoral pain syndrome: a systematic review. Disability and Rehabilitation. 35(26):2181-2190.
2. Esculier JF, Vaudrin J, Bériault P, Gagnon K, Tremblay LE. (2012). Home-based balance training programme using Wii Fit with balance board for Parkinsons's disease: a pilot study. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine. 44(2):144-150.
1. Roy JS, Esculier JF. (2011). Psychometric evidence for clinical outcome measures assessing shoulder disorders. Physical Therapy Reviews. 16(5):331-346.


Non peer-reviewed publications

2. Esculier JF. Are we overcomplicating treatment for patellofemoral pain? Directions (Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia), Autumn 2018.
1. Esculier JF. Les douleurs antérieures au genou chez le coureur. Zatopek Québec, 2013.


Research Funding

Scholarships / Salary awards

  1. Fellowship award for post-doctoral fellows (2017-2020): Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
  2. Fellowship award for PhD studies (2015-2017): Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
  3. International internship at East Carolina University (2015-2016): REPAR.
  4. René-Lamontagne Award, Faculty of Medicine (2015): Laval University.
  5. Doctorate Training for Applicants with a Professional Degree (2014-2017): Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQ-S).
  6. Doctoral admission scholarship Pierre J. Durand (2014): Laval University.
  7. Master's Training for Applicants with a Professional Degree (2012-2014): Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQ-S).
  8. Master's student award (2012): Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration.
  9. Renewable admission scholarship (2005-2009): University of Ottawa.
  10. Francophony scholarship (2005): University of Ottawa.



  • Running injuries
  • Patellofemoral pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Running footwear
  • Clinical research in physiotherapy


Bilingual (French-English)