Further Resources

The section contains links to more data, information and ideas that can help you to explore the issues raised in this profile in more detail and inform actions to improve health outcomes.  

If you have examples of good practice in reducing the impact of MSK conditions that you would like to share in this section, please get in touch at msk.enquiries@phe.gov.uk 

Public Health Bulletins

Public Health England and Versus Arthritis have produced a set of Public Health Bulletins which were designed to illustrate the scale of the burden of back pain and osteoarthritis both nationally and in local areas. In addition to prevalence data, the bulletins contain risk factor information and examples of local actions you can take to reduce the burden of back pain and osteoarthritis in your area.


Public Health England (PHE) and Versus Arthritis have joined together to produce a Musculoskeletal Health Bulletin on the Local Government Association’s (LGA) ‘LG Inform’ platform. The report is designed to support health and wellbeing boards and their partners in understanding the local needs and service provision for people with MSK conditions.

The report presents a collation of existing indicators available on LG Inform relevant to MSK health. This includes modelled prevalence estimates for osteoarthritis, back pain, and rheumatoid arthritis from the Versus Arthritis Musculoskeletal Calculator and key risk factor indicators from Public Health England, Sport England, Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, and NHS Digital. Users can select a local authority area and see how they compare to similar areas as identified by CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy).

Click here to view the report.

Public Health Approach

This report by Versus Arthritis presents a new way of thinking about musculoskeletal conditions. Everyone can do something to improve and maintain the health of their bones, joints, muscles and spine, at every age:

  • Increasing physical activity and keeping a healthy weight can markedly reduce the risk of developing a musculoskeletal problem.
  • For those with a musculoskeletal condition, lifestyle changes can substantially reduce the impact of the condition, at every stage of the disease.

You can find the full report here:


MSK Return on Investment Tool

The return on investment tool has been produced by Public Health England and pulls together evidence on the effectiveness and associated costs for a number of interventions for musculoskeletal conditions.

The tool allows results to be tailored to local situations based on the knowledge of the user. All interventions are aimed at those of working age. The tool is accompanied by:

  • a report showing how the tool was constructed and the main results
  • a summary of the findings from a literature review to identify cost-effective interventions


Providing physical activity interventions for people with musculoskeletal conditions report

This is a report jointly produced by Public Health England, Versus Arthritis, the Department of Health and NHS England and is endorsed by the Local Government Association, Royal College of General Practitioners and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists.

The report reviews the benefits of physical activity both for people with musculoskeletal conditions and wider society, and provides a framework that supports a tiered approach to intervention.


Working with Arthritis

This report produced by Versus Arthritis describes the impact of musculoskeletal conditions on the UK workforce and gives the perspectives of people with musculoskeletal conditions about working life. It considers:

  • current health and work policy and programmes
  • the health and work research agenda
  • relevant employment legislation


Musculoskeletal Conditions and Multimorbidities Report

Versus Arthritis released a report on musculoskeletal diseases and multimorbidities highlighting that athritis and/or back pain are often present alongside other long term conditions, but it is the musculoskeletal condition that usually reduces quality of life the most. The full report is available at:


The Health Profile for England

The Health Profile for England was realised on 13th July 2017 and highlighted that back pain continues to be the number one cause of morbidity in the England for men and women. The document was realised on gov.uk and a webcast is also available on PHE's Youtube channel



The 2019 Health Profile for England can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-profile-for-england-2019

State of Musculoskeletal Health 2018

Versus Arthritis produced a report on a range of musculoskeletal conditions highlighting prevalence rates, risk factors and impact, it is available at:


NHS Right Care focus packs

The MSK Right Care focus packs include a wide range of outcome measures and information on the most common procedures and diagnoses for MSK. PDF's are available for each CCG in England as well as a focus tool which enables users to view maps, charts and tables for each of the MSK indicators at a CCG level.