Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Back pain is a global health problem. Recent research has shown that risk factors that are proximal to the onset of back pain might be important targets for preventive interventions. Rapid communication through social media might be useful for delivering timely interventions that target proximal risk factors. Identifying individuals who are likely to discuss back pain on Twitter could provide useful information to guide online interventions. METHODS: We used a case-crossover study design for a sample of 742 028 tweets about back pain to quantify the risks associated with a new tweet about back pain. RESULTS: The odds of tweeting about back pain just after tweeting about selected physical, psychological, and general health factors were 1.83 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.80-1.85), 1.85 (95% CI: 1.83-1.88), and 1.29 (95% CI, 1.27-1.30), respectively. CONCLUSION: These findings give directions for future research that could use social media for innovative public health interventions.

Original publication




Journal article


J am med inform assoc

Publication Date





644 - 648


Twitter, back pain, case-crossover, public health, social media, Back Pain, Consumer Health Information, Cross-Over Studies, Humans, Information Dissemination, Risk Factors, Social Media