“It’s time to start talking about prevention”
(From Burden of major musculoskeletal conditions-Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2003)
Societal impact of musculoskeletal conditions-
Musculoskeletal conditions have a major impact on society due to their frequency, chronicity, and resultant disability.
Musculoskeletal complaints are a major cause of absence because of sickness in developed countries they are second only to respiratory disorders as a cause of short-term sickness absence (less than two weeks) Musculoskeletal complaints are the most common medical causes of longterm absence, accounting for more than half of all sickness absences lasting longer than two weeks in Norway
Statistics on sickness absence in Norway show that of people who took sick leave for longer than four days because of musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders, 33% had low back pain and 20% neck and shoulder disorders, but only 3% had rheumatoid arthritis. Musculoskeletal complaints also are common reasons for people claiming disability pensions, along with mental disorders and cardiovascular disorders. In Sweden, up to 60% of people on early retirement or long-term sick leave claimed musculoskeletal problem as the reason. In Norway, low back disorders were the most common reason for people claiming disability pensions
Utilization of health care services
Musculoskeletal complaints are the second most common reason for consulting a doctor and constitute, in most countries, up to 10–20% of primary care consultations In the Ontario Health Survey, musculoskeletal complaints were the reason for almost 20% of all health care utilization. They were the most expensive disease category in the Swedish cost of illness study, representing 22.6% of the total cost of illness; the greatest costs were indirect costs related to morbidity and disability. The total direct cost for use of health services that results from musculoskeletal conditions was 0.7% of the gross national product in the Netherlands, 1.0% in Canada, and 1.2% in the USA. The indirect costs of musculoskeletal conditions (loss of productivity and wages) were much greater than the direct costs, corresponding to 2.4% and 1.3% of the gross national products of Canada and the USA, respectively.
The impact of musculoskeletal disorders on individuals and society is expected to increase dramatically.
Dr. Travis Heckes, Overland Park Chiropractor