Low back pain is a major public health problem worldwide, resulting in significant disability and financial costs. No one factor has found to be a significant cause of low back pain. Whilst psychosocial factors are important, there is increasing interest in how back structure relates to back pain. As bones form much of the back structure, bone health may be important. Whilst the layman believes that bone health, in particular osteoporosis, may contribute to back pain, this has not been examined in a community based population. This study aims to examine whether factors relating to bone health, such as bone mineral density and markers of bone metabolism, are related to low back pain. This study will utilise data from a community based study of men, the Geelong Osteoporosis study. This study has nearly 1000 participants, aged 20 – 85, who were recruited from the electoral roll, to be representative of the Australian population. The aim of the main study is to characterise factors associated with bone health in an Australian population. Measures of bone health include calcium intake, bone mineral density, serum markers of bone metabolism and muscle strength using validated methods. Back pain has been measured using validated questionnaires. Analyses of low back pain and markers of bone health will be performed using linear/logistic regression, adjusting for confounders.
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine
553 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne (adjacent to The Alfred)