Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions cause an enormous global burden, and this is dramatically increasing in developing countries, particularly due to rapidly ageing populations and increasing obesity. Many of the global non-communicable disease (NCD) initiatives need to expand beyond the traditional ‘top four’ NCD groups by incorporating MSK diseases. It is critical that MSK initiatives in developing countries integrate well with health systems, rather than being stand-alone. A better inclusion of MSK conditions will avoid doubling of efforts and wasting of resources, and will help to promote a more streamlined, cost-effective approach. Other key opportunities for action include the following: ensuring the principles of ‘development effectiveness’ are met; strengthening leadership and commitment; building the research, information and evidence base; and reducing the incidence and disability of MSK conditions through better prevention. Each of these elements is necessary to mitigate and reduce the growing burden from the MSKs.
- Low income
- Middle income