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MSK Conditions

MSK conditions are a common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability.

MSK conditions are a group of conditions that affect the bones, joints, muscles and spine, and are a common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability. Musculoskeletal conditions are typically characterised by pain (often persistent) and limitations in mobility, dexterity and functional ability, reducing people’s ability to work and participate in social roles with associated impacts on mental wellbeing, and at a broader level impacts on the prosperity of communities.

Table highlights 3 groups of MSK conditions:

Type of Conditions Examples
Systemic Inflammatory Rheumatoid arthritis
MSK pain Osteoarthritis, back and neck pain
Osteoporosis & fragility fractures Fracture after a fall from standing height

MSK conditions can affect people across the life course. Prevention, early detection and treatment can enable people to live in good health, remain independent and connected to one’s community. For many the social perceptions of ageing are gradually changing. People increasingly expect to lead independent, active and pain-free lives during their older years. Some people may wish to work for longer and participate in social and recreational activities. Many people look forward to retirement and for most this includes a different way of life, including travel and exploring new and existing hobbies without the fear of pain and falls. There are different sectors of society such as health and social care, academic research and the third sector who play a vital role and often work together to enable people across all age groups maintain good musculoskeletal health and support those who have an underlying MSK condition.

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Musculoskeletal Health: A Public Health Approach

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