The latest edition of a wide-ranging report brings high-powered data to something physical therapists and physical therapist assistants know at a very personal level—the overwhelming prevalence of musculoskeletal conditions among the US population.
The US Bone and Joint Initiative's (USBJI) newest revision of "The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the US" compiles extensive data on a wide range of conditions, including low back pain, neck pain, arthritis, osteoporosis, and injuries. The report also looks at musculoskeletal conditions in children, adolescents, and special populations, and offers insight on economic impact.
According to USBJI, half of all adults in the US were diagnosed with a musculoskeletal condition in 2012, with nearly 6% of the population reporting a condition that made them unable to perform at least 1 common activity, such as walking, getting out of a chair, or bathing. Back or neck pain accounted for 290.8 million lost workdays in 2012 alone.
The website allows free access to all data and features a "report builder" resource that allows visitors to select particular datapoints among the resources and create a customized report.
USBJI hopes that the resources will help to highlight the need for more attention on prevention and treatment of an area of health that is placing an enormous burden on the health care system.
"When musculoskeletal disorders that could be prevented or ameliorated are not addressed in a timely manner, we miss opportunities to intervene earlier and more effectively in the disease process—a program exacerbated by lack of access to both screening and treatment," USBJI writes in an executive summaryof the report. "These missed opportunities rob people of their ability to work and live full lives, and add unnecessary expenditures to the health care system."
APTA is a founding member of USBJI.
Article appeared in PT in Motion News.