World health report

Conquering suffering, enriching humanity

Musculoskeletal diseases

Often referred to as chronic rheumatic diseases, musculoskeletal diseases include about 200 conditions affecting joints, bones, soft tissues and muscles. Together they amount to a huge burden in pain and often crippling disability, and consequently, huge costs in terms of health care and lost productivity. Among the most prevalent are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Particularly serious is osteoporosis, which with its associated bone fractures is a major cause of death, illness and disability.