Interview: Dr. Pablo Herrero Gallego

On the eve of the launch that marks the return of the Journal Invasive Physiotherapy, we spoke with the Head of iPhysio Research Group, Dr. Pablo Herrero Gallego on the expectations of the new journal.

How and why did the idea of creating the scientific journal Fisioterapia Invasiva arise?
The idea arises from 2 physiotherapists, Fermín Valera, and Francisco Minaya, after organizing the 1st International Congress of Invasive Techniques in Physical Therapy (2014). The congress was a success and there was very good scientific research that sometimes was not published as many Scientific Journals are not interested in this specific area of knowledge. They realized that there was great potential and also a need for a new Journal in this specific area and created it in 2015.
After a hiatus, the journal Physiotherapy Invasive is coming back to be published. How do you see this return and how important is the review of the scientific community?
As you mention there was an initial phase where the Journal of Invasive Therapies was created and although there were many papers submitted, the team behind the Journal didn´t have enough time to review all manuscripts and work to publish regular numbers. Now with the creation of SOCIFIN (, the International Society of Invasive Physiotherapy, it was started a more professional phase and SOCIFIN is managing the Journal as the Society´s Official Scientific Journal. I hope that having a Scientific Society will help to make this Journal grow and become a reference for all the professionals in this specific area of knowledge.
Since then, what kind of news has come up about the topic in terms of treatment or information?
From my point of view, there have been advances mainly in two areas. First, studies with animals have shown which are the mechanisms of action, effects and better dosage, which is helping to provide better treatment to patients. On the other hand, the inclusion of ultrasound equipment and research associated with them, have allowed physiotherapists to work with more precision and safer.
We know that sports represent a significant part of the research within the area. What has changed in sports physiotherapy in recent decades in terms of discoveries?
In sports physiotherapy, there are key factors like effectiveness and recovery time. The combination of invasive physiotherapy techniques with the rest of techniques that physios have been traditionally using in sports physiotherapy have achieved to increase effectiveness, being more precise, and also allowing the patient to go back to sport earlier.
Spain is a worldwide reference in research on invasive physiotherapy, with some of the best professionals in the field in the world. What are the reasons for this? How will the journal help to further enrich this context?
I sometimes joke saying that Spain is the “Silicon Valley” of Invasive Physiotherapy, and I think that this is because in Spain there were different physios that were pioneers in different areas like dry needling, percutaneous needle electrolysis, percutaneous neuromodulation or the application of invasive therapies to neurological patients, and they transmitted this passion to other colleagues, allowing other colleagues to grow in this area. I think the Journal will help many physios to be updated and will encourage to promote and collaborate in future research, especially for those in Spanish speaking countries as the Journal will be Open Access and bilingual and this will be key to promote the dissemination of its content.
The first issue is about to be launched by Thieme. What is your expectation for the launch and what will be the impact of the journal in the short, medium and long term for the physiotherapeutic community?
I think that despite having an increasing number of professionals in this area, only a few of them are sharing what they do, so I hope that the Journal encourages all our colleagues to dedicate some time to register and share what they are doing in their clinical work every day or promote new research. Now my first objective is that the Journal is better known in the Scientific Community, but for the medium and long term, I would like that this Journal can be recognized as a prestigious one and indexed in the more important scientific databases.
With the release of the next journal, what are the next steps for the journal’s own growth? What do you expect from the new publisher?
I think the first two years will be difficult as this is my first experience as an editor and I have many things to learn, that I will try to compensate with effort and passion as I have always done in my life. It will also difficult to call the attention of very relevant scientific research as the Journal doesn´t have currently an impact factor, but if in 2-3 years we get some relevant indexation and the Journal is increasing its prestige, I think that progressively we will be attracting more relevant research to be published. When the Journal was discontinued Elsevier, we had different options to follow with other publishers, but finally, we took the decision to select a very professional publisher like Thieme, with international experience, so I think this will be key to help us grow internationally and get an early indexation.

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