The prevalence of three spine-related pain syndromes was assessed in 739 apparently healthy leisure-time sportsmen (orienteers). The three syndromes were (i) low back pain or stiffness, (ii) thoracic inter-scapular back pain or stiffness, and (iii) frontal chest pain or discomfort. The mean age of the sportsmen was 32.7 years (range 10-65). For low back pain or stiffness the cumulative occurrence was 471 per 1,000, for thoracic back problems it was 146 per 1,000, and for chest pain or discomfort 85 per 1,000. The three pain syndromes were highly associated, i.e. they tended to occur in the same individual.