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Learn more about your back

You will receive free of charge

  • Clinical general examination
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Running analysis
  • Measurement of your back function
  • Long-term functional measurement
  • Therapy recommendation

030-450 659 000

Inclusion Criteria

You are eligible to participate in the study if you

  • are 18-64 years old
  • are not currently participating in any other study
  • are not a professional, competitive or elite athlete
  • are not overweight
  • are not pregnant
  • do not suffer from rheumatism, osteoporosis or acute infections
  • do not suffer from any active systemic diseases (e.g. tuberculosis, collagenosis, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune diseases, acquired immune deficiency syndrome)
  • have no internal diseases that pose a potential risk during the measurements (e.g. heart disease) and/or influence the findings
  • have had no previous spinal surgeries
  • have no abnormal posture or lower limb anomalies
  • have sufficient knowledge of German to complete the questionnaires

How does the study work?

1st Appointment (90 min)

(1) Anamnesis

The anamnesis (medical history) focuses in particular on risk factors with an urgent need for treatment (such as bone fractures, osteoporosis, infection, tumour), psychosocial risk factors (such as depression, passive pain behaviour) and workplace-related risk factors (such as heavy physical work). You will then be asked to complete questionnaires about your health status or back pain, your physical activity and your motivation to be physically active.

(2) Physical (clinical) examination

The clinical examination includes assessment of your organ functions, vital signs (temperature, heart rate, blood pressure), neurological functions (coordination, reflexes, sensitivity) and posture, shape, orientation and movement of the lumbar spine.

(3) Back shape measurement

First, your vertebral bodies are marked from C7 (lowest cervical vertebra) to S3 (middle sacral vertebra). C7 and S3 are the starting and end points of the measurement. You are then measured in a relaxed standing position, in maximum forward and backward flexion. During the static position, the examiner moves the MediMouse along the marked lines. This measurement is repeated five times.

Based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria and your medical findings, it will be clarified whether you can take part in further examinations.

2nd Appointment (40 min)

(4) Magnetic Resonance Imaging

MRI diagnostics provide images of your spine and the surrounding tissues, as well as of injuries or malpositions. Before the MRI examination, you will be provided with markers on your skin so that we can match the subsequent back measurements with the spinal structures. These skin markers are applied (painlessly) over the lumbar spine.

3rd Appointment (60 min)

(5) Gait Analysis

The movements of the ankle, knee and hip joints as well as individual segments of the spine are measured in order to identify possible abnormalities in gait and to what extent these affect the back. We use optical methods to record the movement of individual joints. Marker movements are recorded with cameras. Based on the marker positions in the individual camera images, the movement can be calculated.

4th Appointment (30 min)

(6) Spine Function Measurement

A special hollow plaster (painless) is stuck to your back on both sides of the spine. A sensor band is inserted into each of these. You will then be asked to bend as far as possible forwards, backwards and to both sides, and to rotate your upper body to the left and right. Each exercise is repeated three times.

This concludes the basic examination.

3 x 24-hour measurement (only selected peoplen)

(7) Long-term Functional Measurement (24-hour measurement)

For selected study participants, we also offer long-term functional analyses. These long-term measurements will be used in the future to diagnose back diseases. Beforehand, it is necessary to record the movement patterns of many people in order to determine normal values. For this purpose, you will be equipped with 3 systems. The selection procedure for these examinations is random.

Contact Persons

Theresa Ahnert

Administrative Coordinator of the Spine Study and the FOR 5177

Univ.-Prof. Hendrik Schmidt

Speacker, Subprojects 1 & 2, Administrative Project






Founded by the DFG (Project number: 439742772)