Professor Richards' research includes the clinical application of biomechanics, the development of new assessment tools for chronic disease, conservative and surgical management of orthopaedic and neurological conditions, and the development of evidence based approaches for improving clinical management and rehabilitation. The focus of Professor Richards' work is to encourage inter-professional research and to develop direct parallels with research to the ‘real world’ of allied health work. Professor Richards' work has contributed to the clinical understanding of movement control and the effect of treatments of unstable and painful knee joints. This work has shown the biomechanical and clinical effectiveness of different conservative treatments and the efficacy of rehabilitation devices and led to the development of new outcome measures.
Professor Richards has authored over 200 peer reviewed journal papers, and written and edited a number of textbooks including Biomechanics in Clinic and Research (2008), the 5th edition of Whittle’s Gait Analysis (2012) and the Comprehensive Guide to Clinical Biomechanics (2018). He has also contributed to Tidy’s Physiotherapy (2003, 2008, 2012), the 10th edition of Mercer's Textbook of Orthopaedics and Trauma (2012), Experimental Research Methods: A Guidebook for Studies in Trauma Care (2015), Patellofemoral Pain: A Clinical Guide (2017) and the Guide to Sports Physiology and Injury (2020).
Professor Richards has given over 200 invited talks in 30 different countries across 6 continents. In the last decade he has secured approximately £5m of external funding, on the majority of which he was lead applicant. He is an executive board member of the International Society of Biomechanics Motor Control Working Group, and is an associate editor to the journals "The Knee" and "Frontiers in Sports and Active Living". Professor Richards is a visiting Professor to; University of Malaya, Malaysia; SEGi University Malaysia; Hospital University Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM), Malaysia; Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore; Mahidol University, Thailand; National Taipei University of Technology, Taiwan; Palacky University Olomouc, Czech Republic; Universidad de Granada, Spain; Universidad Católica de Valencia, Spain; University of Porto, Portugal; Coimbra University, Portugal; University of Perugia, Italy, among others..