In England over 9.6 million adults and around 12,000 children have a musculoskeletal condition. Musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis, back pain and fragility fractures owing to osteoporosis have a considerable impact on quality of life. The prevalence of the most common form of osteoarthritis (knee osteoarthritis) ranges from 15% to 21% of people across England.
In 2015/16 Stress, depression or anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders accounted for the majority of days lost due to work-related ill health, 11.7 and 8.8 million days respectively. The average days lost per case for musculoskeletal disorders (16 days) was the second highest after stress, depression or anxiety (24 days).
An ageing population combined with growing levels of obesity and physical inactivity, will result in an increase in the number of people living with musculoskeletal conditions. Musculoskeletal conditions are the largest contributor to the burden of disability in the UK.