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Welcome to the musculoskeletal diseases profile. Musculoskeletal conditions are the leading cause of pain and disability in England and account for one of the highest causes of sickness absence and productivity loss.

The aim of this tool is to provide meaningful data, on a single platform, to enable the commissioning of high value musculoskeletal services. Musculoskeletal data is essential for understanding the health needs of local populations, the amount of people accessing services, the cost of services and the outcomes services deliver.

Indicators should not generally be used in isolation, but are best looked at in combination to produce an overall picture of the local situation. By using these in conjunction with other locally available data, organisations can undertake a ‘deep dive’ into areas of interest. This more structured approach should be used to uncover the deeper reasons underlying variation, identify opportunities for improvement and support the necessary work to deliver high-value services for people with musculoskeletal conditions.

If you would like to get in touch about the musculoskeletal diseases profile please contact 

Further Resources

Recent updates

A list of changes made to the profiles in each update from April 2018 can be found here 

June 2019

Confidence intervals have been updated for % reporting a long term MSK problem.

May 2019

Percentage of adults (aged 18+) classified as overweight or obese, percentage of physically inactive adults and percentage of physically active adults indicators have been updated with 2017/18 data.

February 2019

Data for 2017/18 has been added to the hip fractures in people aged 65 and over indicator. 

December 2018

A new indicator has been added to the tool - percentage reporting at least two long term conditions, at least one of which one is MSK related, with data for 2014/15 to 2017/18. Four indicators have been updated with data points for 2017/18 - % reporting a long term MSK problem, QOF prevalence: osteoporosis (50+), QOF prevalence: rheumatoid arthritis (16+) and smoking prevalence - current smokers (GPPS).

July 2018

Smoking prevalence data for 2017 calculated using the Annual Population Survey has been added. A correction has been applied (09/07/2018) to the count for 'smoking prevalence in adults - current smokers (APS)' in 2017 for counties.

June 2018

Four new indicators have been added to the tool - % reporting a long term MSK problem, % reporting anxiety or depression, % reporting a long term MSK problem who also report anxiety or depression and average health related quality of life score for adults who reported having a long term MSK condition. Four indicators have been updated with data points for 2016/17- osteoporosis: QOF prevalence, rheumatoid arthritis:  QOF prevalence (16+), % reporting a long term back problem and % reporting a long term joint problem.

April 2018

Percentage of physically active adults - current method and percentage of physically inactive adults - current methods have a new data point for 2016/17 and a revised data point for 2015/16.

February 2018

Smoking prevalence in adults has been calculated from the GP Patient Survey (GPPS) for 2016/17 and hip fractures in people aged 65+ has also been updated for 2016/17.

November 2017

The Musculoskeletal Diseases Profile was launched in November 2017.