About MSK health

Musculoskeletal conditions are currently the most common cause of chronic disability. Globally, the number of people suffering from musculoskeletal conditions has increased by 25 percent over the past decade.  This is expected to continue increasing with the ageing of our populations. Affordable measures to prevent and treat musculoskeletal conditions are available.

The primary musculoskeletal conditions include:

  • Osteoarthritis
    Inflammatory arthritis (principally, rheumatoid arthritis)
    Back pain
    Musculoskeletal injuries (such as occupational and sports injuries and road traffic accidents)
    Crystal arthritis (such as gout)
    Osteoporosis and fragility fractures

Musculoskeletal conditions make up 2 percent of the global disease burden. Osteoarthritis accounts for the largest portion – 52 percent of the total burden of musculoskeletal conditions in developing countries, and 61 percent of the total burden of musculoskeletal conditions in industrialized countries. Osteoarthritis is increasing as the world’s elderly population grows, and is the sixth leading cause of years lost to disability.