What we’re doing about musculoskeletal conditions
Musculoskeletal conditions are a major cause of chronic pain and disability in Australia. Find out what we’re doing to help Australians living with conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and back pain.
What are musculoskeletal conditions?
Musculoskeletal conditions are problems with bones, muscles and joints. In Australia:
- around 1 in 3 people have some form of musculoskeletal condition
- 3.6 million Australians have arthritis. Inflammation of the joints can lead to them becoming stiff, painful, swollen or deformed
- 4 million have some form of chronic back pain, due to problems with the joints, connective tissue, muscles or nerves of the back
- more than 900,000 have osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become thin, weak, fragile and easy to break
There are more than 150 types of musculoskeletal conditions, including:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- juvenile arthritis
- back pain
- back problems such as scoliosis
See healthdirect for more information about musculoskeletal conditions.
What are we doing about musculoskeletal conditions?
We are addressing musculoskeletal conditions nationally via our:
Several programs and initiatives support treatment and management of musculoskeletal conditions.
- The Medicare Benefits Schedule helps pay for patient care, including Chronic Disease Management plans.
- The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme helps pay for medicines.
- The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIWH) monitors conditions in Australia, including musculoskeletal conditions.
- We provide funding for Arthritis Australia to improve awareness of arthritis and support Australians affected by the condition.
- We are providing $4 million to support early implementation of the National Strategic Action Plan for Arthritis, including:
- $2 million to support information and awareness activities
- $2 million to support education and training for health professionals
- We have allocated $4 million to early implementation of the National Strategic Action Plan for Osteoporosis, including:
- $3 million from the Medical Research Future Fund for a pilot project for the Primary Care Fracture Liaison Service. It aims to reduce further risk of breaking bones and significantly decrease the burden of osteoporosis
- $500,000 for Osteoporosis Australia to continue their work
- $500,000 for a competitive grant for awareness and education work
See more chronic conditions resources.