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Musculoskeletal conditions are conditions of the bones, muscles and their attachments (e.g. joints and ligaments). They are the most common chronic conditions in Australia and predominantly managed in primary health care settings, a setting for which there are currently limited national data.

Common musculoskeletal conditions

Back pain and problems are caused by numerous factors including muscle strain or displacement of an intervertebral disc. These may result from an underlying illness or injury.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition affecting weight-bearing joints such as the hips, knees and ankles as well as the hands and spine. In the initial stages pain occurs in the joints during and after activity, but as the condition progresses pain may be experienced from minimal movement or during rest.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease causing chronic inflammation of the joints. It most commonly affects the hand joints and can lead to deformities of the hands.

Osteoporosis is a condition where there is a progressive loss of bone density and decrease in the strength of the skeleton with a resultant risk of fracture.

Juvenile arthritis refers to the types of arthritis occurring in children under 16 years of age. It may cause significant pain, disability and restrictions in school and other activities.

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that develops when an excess of uric acid in the blood leads to deposits of uric acid crystals in one or more joints, causing inflammation.

AIHW arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions publications

AIHW arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions publications

The National Centre for Monitoring Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions

The National Centre for Monitoring Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions (the Centre) was established at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in 2005 to undertake surveillance and monitoring of arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions in Australia. The Centre is a source of statistical information about various types of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions and their associated problems in Australia. The Centre is funded by the Department of Health.

Contact the National Centre for Monitoring Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions

Tel: 02 6244 1000

Email: .