Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions are a group of conditions that affect the bones, joints, muscles and spine, and are a common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability. There are 4 main groups of MSK conditions:

  • inflammatory conditions, for example, rheumatoid arthritis
  • conditions of MSK pain, for example, osteoarthritis and back pain,
  • injury to bones, muscles and ligaments
  • osteoporosis and fragility fractures, for example, a fracture aftera fall from standing height

Each year, 20% of people in the UK see a doctor about a MSK problem. There are multiple risk factors that can heighten people’s susceptibility to MSK problems – these include physical inactivity, being overweight or obese, diets deficient in vitamin D or calcium, smoking, older age and genetic predisposition to some MSK conditions.

There are many things that people can do for themselves to reduce or manage their musculoskeletal risks, such as:

Where people require clinical support, access to services is via your own GP initially. MSK community services are provided by Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Their teams include a range of clinicians including experienced physiotherapists and GPs who will take the time to understand your problem. They can offer a range of options which may include exercise, exercise classes, manual therapy, electrotherapy and acupuncture. They also provide clinical assessment for the majority of orthopaedic surgical pathways.