Mortality and illness JSNA

Musculoskeletal conditions

In the borough of Rochdale, 21.7 per cent of the population report a long term musculoskeletal problem compared to the national average of 17.6 per cent (GP Patient Survey, 2022).

What are musculoskeletal conditions?

Musculoskeletal conditions are the largest cause of disability in the UK and have a significant impact on quality of life. They refer to conditions that affect muscles, bones, joints, tendons and ligaments and range from short lived fractures and sprains to lifelong conditions associated with ongoing pain and disability (World Health Organisation 2018).

Among the conditions included under the term musculoskeletal conditions are:

  • Arthritis
  • Fractures
  • Osteoporosis
  • Back and neck pain
  • Inflammatory diseases

Symptoms, prevention and management of musculoskeletal conditions

The main symptoms of musculoskeletal conditions are of pain and restricted movement. In long-term conditions, this pain is normally persistent.

Musculoskeletal conditions share similar risk factors to other non-communicable diseases, such as a lack of physical activity, poor diet, obesity and smoking. Management of conditions can require a combination of specialist or surgical care, as well as exercise, psychological and pharmacological therapies.

Statistics on musculoskeletal conditions

Guidance and information on musculoskeletal conditions