Can exercise training improve intervertebral disc health?

Low back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Intervertebral disc degeneration is often considered the underlying cause and is commonly managed via surgery. Burgeoning evidence suggests exercise training may improve intervertebral disc health, yet randomised controlled trials are limited.  

This project will investigate the effectiveness of novel (e.g. community-based, digitally delivered) exercise interventions on state-of-the-art measures of intervertebral disc health (i.e. magnetic resonance imaging) in adults with low back pain.

The overall aim of this PhD is to explore whether exercise training can improve intervertebral disc health and reduce the burden associated with low back pain. This project would suit applicants with a background in exercise science, exercise physiology and/or physiotherapy.

Applicants should have a minimum of upper second class honours or the equivalent as outlined on the research degrees and masters entry pathways page. An academic background in the musculoskeletal physiology is preferred, and previous research/clinical experience including the use of medical imaging and/or prescription of exercise training are desirable.

We will work with suitably qualified applicants to apply for scholarship funding.

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