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Study: musculoskeletal conditions a major health problem worldwide

Those who suffer with conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, or good old fashioned back pain know what a struggle such musculoskeletal conditions can be. Not only can it be expensive to receive ongoing treatment for these conditions, there is the problem of lost work income. Often, these conditions can have a significant impact on the development and management of other health conditions, creating further complications for those that suffer from them.

A study recently published in the British medical Journal The Lancet highlighted the problem of musculoskeletal disability worldwide. The study, among other things, found that arthritis, back pain and other musculoskeletal conditions affect more than 1.7 billion people worldwide, and have the 4th greatest impact on the overall health of the world population, when considering both disability and death. Over the last 20 years, the study found, the burden of musculoskeletal conditions has increased by 45 percent.

The study, which is apparently the first comprehensive research into the impact of all diseases and risk factors worldwide, uncovered strong evidence that musculoskeletal conditions are a major problem not only in the Unites States but in all parts of the world, and that governments need to develop public resources to addressing such conditions. This would include programs like Social Security disability.

In particular, the authors said, there is a need for health systems to address the challenges of those with variety of musculoskeletal conditions that largely cause disability, not mortality. Those suffering with such conditions should see the study as a boost of awareness for the struggles of those in their position.

Source: Sacramento Bee, "Musculoskeletal Conditions Second Greatest Cause of Disability," December 17, 2012

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