Ankylosing spondylitis - Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work

Disease - Ankylosing spondylitis, osteoarthritis, back pain

Lead applicant - Professor Karen Walker-Bone

Organisation - University of Southampton

Type of grant - Centre of Excellence Full

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £1,400,000

Start date - 1 October 2014

Reference - 20665

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

The Arthritis Research UK-MRC Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work, based at the University of Southampton, is a world-leading centre focused on addressing major research questions to reduce the impact of musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain and arthritis in the workplace.

By collaborating with teams from across the UK, the centre aims to:

  • Identify cost-effective ways to minimise the impact of musculoskeletal conditions in the workplace.
  • Train a future generation of researchers in this field
  • Establish a national resource for advice on musculoskeletal health and work, accessible to Government, employers, workers, health professionals and patients, and actively promoting best work and clinical practice.

Why is this research important?

Back pain, arthritis and other conditions of musculoskeletal pain are some of the main causes of incapacity for work in the UK, accounting for loss of 10 million working days per year at a cost of £7 billion. However, there are currently major deficiencies in scientific evidence that would inform policies and interventions aimed at reducing this burden.

By utilising the breadth of knowledge and skills developed at the centre, the main musculoskeletal causes of work impairment can be better recognised and understood.

How will the findings benefit patients?

The work of this centre will enable workplace and work-related musculoskeletal conditions to be properly addressed, reducing the number of working days lost to these conditions and benefiting patients, workers, employers, and society at large.