Back and neck pains constitute the leading cause of disability worldwide, and affect the ability to work and participation in social life. In Denmark back and neck pains constitute the main reasons for primary health care consultants and causes of sick leave, and the total societal cost due to back and neck pains is estimated to around 2.5 billion euro every year. Thereby, spinal pain constitutes a substantial individual, economical and societal burden.

The LifeSpine research program is designed to identify potential domains for intervention and relevant target groups for prevention of childhood spinal pain. Specifically to investigate how parental-related mechanisms, and early-life health and wellbeing of the child influence the development of spinal pain in Danish children. Analogous to other non-communicable chronic diseases, a life-course approach has been suggested as an important next step in spinal pain research. Thus, the etiology and mechanisms in early life need to be explored to inform efficient prevention of spinal pain.

The project is carried out using The Danish National Birth cohort containing rich data on exposures from conception and onwards, parents´ health and behaviors and self-reported data on spinal pain at age 11, providing the opportunity to launch the first-large scale life-course study of familial risk factors for spinal pain e.g. parental musculoskeletal health, pain experience and pain behavior. Further, linkage to parental social register data permits analyses of any social interactions in the disease production.

Contact: PhD Fellow Anne Cathrine Jørgensen