logo

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Back pain evidence review and lay evidence summary

The application of the findings of this award winning research should enable a substantial reduction in time off work due to lower back pain.

This work addressed key questions about the major category of occupational ill health in the UK and delivered the answers to GPs, line managers, and employees. A separate summary of the evidence provided answers for occupational physicians based on that evidence.

Review and analysis of worldwide literature for evidence resulted in answers which have had substantial impact on subsequent practice.

  • What is the best option for someone suffering lower back pain?
  • What is the best option for someone off work with lower back pain?
  • What is the best option for someone who has been off work over four weeks with lower back pain?
  • Is there a reliable way to predict who might get back pain?
  • Do lumbar supports help those at risk of lower back injury?

In addition to winning the BUPA Occupational Health Award for 2000, the vision of the project was commended by the then Minister for Public Health, Yvette Cooper.

to top of page


Predicting future musculoskeletal disease

This research was designed to address a question of fundamental strategic and practical importance.

It was designed to identify activities predisposing to musculoskeletal symptoms and highlight areas where changes in working practices may reduce the high burden of musculoskeletal disease in the workplace. It studied only newly recruited workers so as to avoid skewing of results due to the "healthy worker effect".

to top of page


Osteoarthritis of the knee

This research was designed to examine the constitutional factors that increase the susceptibility of developing osteoarthritis and local mechanical factors that increase the likelihood of its development in the knee joint. It also provided a basis on which to assess whether the case for compensation to workers is justifiable.

The research was thus of direct practical value to employment sectors where employees are at risk of developing the condition.

to top of page


The European COST Action B13 'Low Back Pain: Guidelines for its Management'

Please note that this was not a BOHRF funded project; it is included here by kind permission of Professor Kim Burton

This project ran from 2000 to 2004. The main objectives were:

  • to develop and produce European evidence-based guidelines for the management of acute low back pain in primary care
  • to develop and produce European evidence-based guidelines for the management of chronic low back pain in primary care
  • to develop and produce European evidence-based guidelines for the prevention of low back pain in primary care
  • to develop and produce European guidelines for the management of pelvic girdle pain
  • to promote implementation of these guidelines

To ensure an evidence-based approach, recommendations are based on Cochrane and other systematic reviews and on existing national guidelines. The guidelines should:

  • help healthcare providers to make evidence-based decisions
  • improve the quality and outcome of health care
  • lead to a more rational and efficient use of resources
  • identify gaps in the existing scientific evidence in order to prioritise future research

Visit Backpain Europe

to top of page

Last Update: 28-Jul-2013