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Musculoskeletal disorders 

Musculoskeletal disorders
Musculoskeletal disorders

Lope H. Barrero

and Alberto J. Caban-Martinez

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date: 05 July 2022

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are a major public health burden ranking second in terms of the causes of disability among people worldwide. Over the last four decades, life expectancy around the world has risen dramatically, creating a greater probability of experiencing some type of MSD during the life course. This chapter first introduces the definition and classification structure of MSDs and provides a comprehensive description of selected MSDs (low back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis) of major concern to public health research and practice. It then transitions the discussion on a global scale to the incidence and prevalence of MSDs, their economic impact, and growing burden on society. Various modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for MSDs are also discussed, including an emphasis on the presence and influence of ageing and obesity. Lastly the chapter summarizes future directions in terms of research, practice, and policy that can be implemented and developed to improve the global burden of MSDs.

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