AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Conferences & events Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subjectAdoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publicationsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Health priority areas Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health Mothers & babies Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR - metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Data integration Data standards Privacy of data
By subject Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Burden of disease Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators
Chronic disease indicators Deaths Disability Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Hospitals Height and weight data sources
Indigenous Australians International collaboration Medical indemnity Mental health National indicator catalogue National core maternity indicators Risk factors statistics Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee CKDMAC AODTS NMDS WG CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISS MyHospitals NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Indigenous temporary employment register Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Subscribe to employment notices Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Conferences & events Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
Musculoskeletal conditions are the most common chronic conditions in Australia, affecting almost one-third of the population. Musculoskeletal conditions are defined as conditions of the bones, muscles and their attachments such as joints.
A degenerative joint condition affecting the 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.
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.
A condition whereby there is a progressive loss of bone density and decrease in the strength of the skeleton with a resultant risk of fracture.
Back pain and problems can be attributed to numerous factors including muscle strain or the displacement of an intervertebral disc. These may be caused by underlying illness or injury.
Data from the 2007–08 National Health Survey suggest that:
These estimates are based on self-report of doctor-diagnosed conditions.
Musculoskeletal conditions are linked to much pain and disability. They were the fourth leading contributor to direct health expenditure in 2004-05 ($4.0 billion), following cardiovascular diseases ($5.9 billion), oral health ($5.3 billion) and mental disorder ($4.1 billion).
Estimating the prevalence of osteoporosis in a population can be difficult because it lacks overt physical symptoms. The diagnosis of osteoporosis tends to occur after an untoward event, such as sustaining minimal trauma fracture. Even after such events, some cases of osteoporosis go undiagnosed or treated. The NHS suggests that 692,000 Australians have doctor-diagnosed osteoporosis. This number, however, is certainly an underestimate.
AIHW Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions publications
The National Centre for Monitoring Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions (the Centre) was established at the 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 and Ageing.
Contact the National Centre for Monitoring Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions
Tel: 02 6244 1000
Email: ncmamsc [at] aihw [dot] gov [dot] au.