Musculoskeletal conditions are a major contributor to multimorbidity and are more likely to develop with age. Amy Forbes, Policy Officer at Arthritis Research UK explores the health data issues around musculoskeletal conditions.
Musculoskeletal conditions have a substantial impact on individuals, the health service and society as a whole. A musculoskeletal condition can hinder someone’s ability to do normal activities, significantly affecting their quality of life and limiting independence: common symptoms include pain, stiffness and loss of mobility and dexterity.
Musculoskeletal conditions are a major contributor to multimorbidity. They are the single biggest cause of disability in the UK, accounting for 30.5% of all years lived with disability. Around 20% of the general population consult their GP about a musculoskeletal problem each year, and 82% of people with osteoarthritis have at least one other long term condition like cardiovascular disease, hypertension or depression.