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Call for Action (Bone & Joint Decade)

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Call for Action (Bone & Joint Decade)


“Keep people moving” – The Growing Burden of Musculoskeletal Conditions

The Growing Burden of Musculoskeletal Conditions

The current resources for the prevention, management and research of musculoskeletal conditions do not reflect their impact

Musculoskeletal conditions rank 4th globally in impact on the health of populations, considering both death and disability (DALYs)
They are the 2nd greatest cause of disability, as measured by years lived with disability (YLDs), accounting for 21.3% of disability worldwide.
This enormous burden is prevalent across all regions of the world.
The single most common cause of disability is back pain.
The disability due to musculoskeletal conditions increased 45% from 1990 to 2010, with osteoarthritis showing the greatest increase.
This rising burden of disabling long-term conditions imposes new challenges on health systems but at present the priority remains on dealing with conditions with high mortality.

Change is Needed

Much can be achieved to prevent and manage musculoskeletal conditions but lack of awareness, knowledge and priority continues to lead to unnecessary disability. Therefore there is an urgent need to focus on musculoskeletal health becoming a public health priority.

Call for Action to Invest in Musculoskeletal Health and Control the Burden of Musculoskeletal Conditions

We agree to campaign together as the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health, coordinated by the Bone and Joint Decade, to achieve greater priority for musculoskeletal health. We call on health policy makers at national and regional levels and the WHO for explicit plans to deal with the large and growing burden of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries on individuals and society. These need to consider:

promotion of a lifestyle that will optimise musculoskeletal health at all ages
implementation of effective measures to prevent musculoskeletal disorders and injuries
identification and treatment of those who are at highest risk
access to timely, safe, appropriate treatment to control symptoms, and diseases where possible, to prevent unnecessary disability
access to appropriate rehabilitation and self-management programmes to reduce any disability
enabling people to participate in the labour market
research to advance knowledge and care
We are sure you will agree that such a declaration of commitment by health policy makers will be a major step in reducing the enormous and growing burden of musculoskeletal conditions.