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Until 2016 our primary research areas are epidemiological and prevention research, spinal pain, musculoskeletal chest pain and osteoarthritis.



The Research Unit at NIKKB has formulated a strategy outlining the institute's research priorities for the period 2018-2022.

Download it here


The research efforts at NIKKB are specifically focused on addressing issues related to the on-going development of the profession. To this end, our strategic priorities will be to:

•    Facilitate the on-going systematic collection of data from cohorts of patients suffering from a range of musculoskeletal conditions by building and maintaining a practice-based network of chiropractic clinics and applying novel technologies such as SMS-tracking in the follow-up of these patients;
•    Closely monitor and identify the characteristics of patients seeking chiropractic care, map the interventions delivered, and describe the clinical course;
•    Describe the characteristics and trajectories of musculoskeletal patients seeking care in the primary health care sector by working closely with primary care research units;
•    Articulate a chiropractic professional identity which differentiates the unique contribution of chiropractors to the multidisciplinary nature of the Danish health care system through on-going qualitative interviews; and
•    Study the development of integrated musculoskeletal health care practices in primary and secondary care settings with the aim to strengthen the contribution of chiropractic.

Research focus

To meet these strategic priorities, the following research areas will be the principal focus up to the end of 2016:

1.    Epidemiological and prevention research
2.    Spinal pain
3.    Musculoskeletal chest pain
4.    Osteoarthritis

Read more about our research focus under the section Project Areas in the menu.



Research project receives substantial financial support

A new research project focussing on work retention in employees with musculoskeletal and physically demanding jobs has been awarded 1.5 m. Danish Kroner (approx. 200 000 €) in financial backing from the Danish Working Environment Research Fund.


The project is named “Way to go – Development of a joint effort to prevent, retain at work and rehabilitate employees with musculoskeletal disease and physically demanding work”.


Despite a general decrease in sickness absence statistics in Denmark in recent years, musculoskeletal pain continues to be a major cause of work disability in cleaners and other workers with physically demanding…

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Is there a relationship between physical activity level and back pain in adolescents?

The level of physical activity among adolescents can influence their risk of developing back pain, a new study by a group of researchers including Jan Hartvigsen and Lise Hestbæk from NIKKB/Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics (IOB) at the University of Southern Denmark has revealed.


The more physically active, the greater the risk of back pain, the study concludes. The researchers followed a group of adolescents aged 11 to 13 over a two year period to study to what degree physical activity caused pain in the neck, back and lower back during the two years.


The participants…

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How and why do sports injuries typically occur in children and adolescents?

For some time there has been increasing focus on activity and sports among children and adolescents, and there are many advantages in increased activity and participation in sport. However, the increase in sports activities among children and adolescents also causes an increase in sports injuries. Now a group of researchers have conducted a systematic literature review to provide an overview of the most common injuries in a number of sports and where they may occur. The overview is of particular interest to chiropractors who treat many athletes, children and young people, but there are also interesting points for other chiropractors.…

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Jan Hartvigsen is the world's leading expert in musculoskeletal pain

A recently published ranking from Expertscape ranks in Jan Hartvigsen as the world's leading researcher in musculoskeletal pain.

The ranking is published on the website www.expertscape.com. It is based on an assessment of publications of scientific articles in the past 10 years by Jan Hartvigsen and other researchers. Expertscape evaluated published articles registered by Pubmed about a given subject area using defined objective parameters and ranked researchers on the basis of this assessment.


The ranking is a great recognition of Jan Hartvigsen’s work and influence within the musculoskeletal area, and he is naturally both pleased and proud…

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Be aware of teenagers’ muscle and skeletal problems – they could continue into adulthood

Research indicates that children and teenagers who are hit by musculoskeletal diseases (MSK) are in danger of having to battle chronic recurring pain as adults and continue to be a large burden on the health system. A new article focussing on regional pain syndromes such as non-specific back pain or shoulder pain among children and teenagers presents an overview over interesting and useful knowledge for clinicians who encounter MSK-disease in this age group.


A serious problem – for life
Lower back pain and neck pain account for more disability among 15 – 19 year olds than e.g. asthma, alcohol- and…

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