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Musculoskeletal Health

Helping staff avoid musculoskeletal conditions

Musculoskeletal conditions which as well as causing pain can impact on a person’s ease of movement, flexibility and strength.

The term musculoskeletal conditions (MSK) covers a range of over 200 conditions affecting joints, bones, muscles and soft tissues. These can be grouped into four categories:

  • Painful conditions (e.g. osteoarthritis, back pain)

  • Inflammatory conditions (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis)

  • Osteoporosis, including osteoporotic fractures

  • Trauma (e.g. fractures, soft-tissue injuries)

Estimates suggest that the projected numbers of prevalent cases of musculoskeletal conditions in Suffolk will grow from 202,389 in 2016, to 221,128 in 2026, and continue growing, to 240,106 in 2039.

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber said “MSK is more than just a pain to the individuals concerned. It’s a pain to businesses in terms of lost working days and society as a whole in terms of higher health care costs. Although the growth in MSK cases in the county partly reflects the ageing population, some conditions such as lower back pain, poor weight management and a lack of physical activity are encountered among younger parts of the population.  Businesses do have a role to play in helping staff address such issues. Ultimately it’s in their own self-interest as a healthier workforce is less likely to be an absent one.”

Here are some links to resources that can help with the prevention and management of MSK:

BITC toolkit

HSE – MSD (musculo-skeletal disorders)

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