Introduction to the Musculoskeletal Health Research Program

Musculoskeletal conditions affect people across the life-course in all regions of the world. The prevalence of musculoskeletal conditions increases with age, but also younger people are affected. In the 2016 The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study showed that musculoskeletal conditions were the second highest contributor to global disability, and lower back pain remained the single leading cause of disability since it was first measured in 1990. While the prevalence of musculoskeletal conditions varies by age and diagnosis, 20% to 33% of people across the globe live with a painful musculoskeletal condition.

Overall Aim

The overall aim of the reseasrch program is to improve physical performance, the activities of daily life, and health related quality of life for people who suffer from musculoskeletal disorders through high quality research. This program focuses on common musculoskeletal disorders, such as osteoarthritis, back- and neck pain. More specifically, research in this program addresses

  1. The (psychosocial, biomechanical, (neuro)physiological, neuroimmune) mechanisms underlying the development of musculoskeletal disorders and of the progression of declines in physical performance, activities of daily life, and health related quality of life due to musculoskeletal disorders.
  2. The development of methods to accurately diagnose and track the progression (neurophysiological, neuroimmune changes as well as functions) of musculoskeletal disorders.
  3. Diagnosis and prognosis of declines in physical performance and health related quality of life and the underlying impairments due to musculoskeletal disorders,
  4. The efficacy, (cost-)effectiveness of existing and novel interventions, and underlying (working mechanisms of) interventions to prevent/reduce declines in physical performance and health related quality of life.

Program Board

Program Members

  • All AMS researchers that work in, or have affinity with, the field of Musculoskeletal Health research.