There is no denying the tremendous burden of musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions on the lives of Canadians. A staggering 11 million Canadians suffer from at least one MSK condition every year1. Beyond the impact on the health and wellbeing of Canadians, MSK conditions are a major health issue that have a profound impact on Canada’s economic welfare. MSK conditions are responsible for one third of lost time and are one of the primary causes of short and long-term disability in Canada2.
Yet, even if they have an important impact on so many facets of our lives, MSK conditions receive very little attention. Patients often lack the necessary support and resources to manage their pain and symptoms, making it a challenge for many Canadians to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Current guidelines supported by evidence suggest conservative care, like chiropractic, as first line treatment for conditions like back pain. Typically, Canadians may have access to chiropractic care through extended healthcare coverage provided as an employee benefit. However, for those who are unemployed or may not have access to extended healthcare, they may be required to pay out-of-pocket, thus creating an unnecessary barrier to proper treatment.
Imagine if all Canadians had access to evidence-based, recommended care options for their MSK health? How would Canadians and Canada benefit as a whole? We know that early access to conservative care could not only reduce pain and improve function among those who suffer from MSK conditions, but have a meaningful impact on keeping Canadians working and productive. Canada would reap the rewards from ensuring that Canadians are healthy and that appropriate care is available when injured.
There is more that we can do together to ensure that all Canadians have access to appropriate care options to help prevent or manage MSK conditions. It is also important to stay informed on Canada’s healthcare system and MSK health related matters.
Want to join the conversation?:
- Talk to your chiropractor about the importance of your MSK health
- Learn more about current ongoing projects that aim to increase access to MSK care in Canada
- Discuss MSK health with your friends and family
1Building a Collective Policy Agenda for Musculoskeletal Health and Mobility; Canadian Orthopaedic Care Strategy Group backgrounder report. 2010.
2Desjardins, D. (2006). Le fardeau de la maladie lié aux troubles musculosquelettiques au Canada. Prévention l’incapacité au travail : un symposium pour favoriser l’action concertée. Journées annuelles de la santé publique. Retrieved from https://jasp.inspq.qc.ca/Data/Sites/1/SharedFiles/presentations/2006/JASP2006-Incapacite-SDesjardins2.PDF