Congratulations to the DTR team led by Dr Frances Williams which has been selected as the winner of The International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (ISSLS) prize in Clinical Studies for 2015. The award is the most prestigious in the field for research into low back pain arising from the spine and associated structures. The photograph below shows Dr Frances Williams and some of the co-authors receiving the award and prize of $15,000 from the Björn Rydevik of ISSLS.
This work is extremely important because back pain is so common. One in three of us will get back pain in any given year, mostly pain of the lower back. Back pain can affect people’s mood, daily activities and work life and sleep patterns and may lead to disability and job loss. Research into the understanding of the cause of back pain and what make some people susceptible could help doctors treat back pain as early as possible in its course thus preventing further pain and disability.
The specific research which won the prize used twin data on 850 twins from questionnaires and twin visits dating back to 1996 and showed for the first time that specific changes in the vertebral endplate (as captured on spine MRI) are related to self-reported episodes of severe and disabling low back pain. The work will lead to a greater understanding of the mechanisms of spine degeneration and their relationship with episodes of low back pain.