Muscoskeletal health report

February 2019

General Practitioners

Country of origin: UK

Arthritis Research UK has launched its ground-breaking report Musculoskeletal health – a public health approach recently. The report aims to achieve a shift in focus from musculoskeletal disease to musculoskeletal health across all areas with public health responsibility. In particular it proposes a public health approach to musculoskeletal conditions from before birth through to old age. At every age and at every stage of someone’s life they can maintain and improve their musculoskeletal health, and should be supported in doing so.

The briefing was a great success, with a wide range of speakers including:
• Peter Kay, National Clinical Director for musculoskeletal conditions
• Nuzhat Ali, lead for older adults, health and well-being at Public Health England
• Norman Webster, who has psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis
• Cllr Jonathan McShane, representing the Local Government Association
• Dr Benjamin Ellis, the lead author of the report.

It was clear that there's a real desire within local authorities, Public Health England, NHS England and the third sector to develop a joined-up approach to tackling the risk factors that can lead to the development of musculoskeletal conditions.

The report recommends that musculoskeletal conditions are included in all assessments of local and national population health, and that all public activity should be underpinned by high-quality data on musculoskeletal conditions.

It also calls for an emphasis to be placed on the benefits of physical activity to people living with musculoskeletal conditions and for the conditions to be specifically included in programmes aimed at reducing obesity or promoting physical activity.

In his foreword to the report, Dr Liam O’Toole, chief executive officer of Arthritis Research UK, said: 'Arthritis Research UK is committed to a world free from the pain of arthritis. Something can be done, at every age and at every stage...We now need a public health approach to musculoskeletal health to help us all stay healthier for longer, remaining active, and doing the things we love.'

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