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.