As people age, the risk of having a MSK condition rises. Modifiable risk factors, such as excess weight and physical inactivity, increase the risk of developing a MSK condition and can exacerbate an existing condition.
Maximising bone health across the life course involves ensuring we get sufficient vitamin D, eat a calcium-rich diet and take sufficient physical activity. This will not only improve bone strength but also keep muscles strong. At every stage of life people can take steps to improve their MSK health and reduce the risk of developing an MSK condition.
Many major MSK conditions can be avoided, or their symptoms reduced, by staying active throughout life, ensuring we include at least twice weekly balance and strength activities, eat a healthy diet, and are supported by a workplace that promotes MSK health.
Key risk factors to MSK health are physical inactivity, obesity, multimorbidity (living with other long term conditions) and falls.
Healthy aging is a key priority for everyone. There are certainly ways to help enhance our chances of aging well, including maintaining an active lifestyle. Physical activity and exercise not only are a great way to maintain a healthy weight, prevent chronic conditions and manage stress, they also help maintain strength, endurance and mobility as we age. These can be critical components to preventing falls which can lead to developing an MSK condition and pain.
Therefore Improving dietary health, increasing levels of physical activity, tackling sedentary lifestyles and preventing and tackling obesity are key to reducing MSK conditions and healthy aging.
In the work place
Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions such as back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain will be experienced by most adults at some point during their working life. They are a common cause of sickness absence but if they are identified early and managed well, most of the time they should not result in time off work.
Work plays a large role in keeping you healthy and evidence tells us that going to work is good for both your physical and mental health. It is important to look after yourself at work and ensure you inform your employer if you are having MSK related issues so they can make reasonable adjustments that enable you to stay in work.