Musculoskeletal disorders comprise a wide range of diseases that affect muscle, tendon, cartilage and bone, of which the arthritic diseases are the most well-known. Together, the musculoskeletal diseases are the most common cause of chronic disability with a high cost for treatment due to their persistent nature. The combination of these factors places a significant personal and financial burden on individual patients, the NHS and society as a whole.
Many of these conditions are acquired later in life, thus the incidence and prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders are expected to continue to increase as the population ages. Musculoskeletal complaints are the most common chronic condition presented in primary care. According to Arthritis Research UK, approximately 20 per cent of the adult population consults their general practitioner about a musculoskeletal condition each year. This problem is not restricted to the UK; there is an increasing global burden making this area of research a key priority.
Despite the impact musculoskeletal disorders have throughout the world, relatively little is still known about the physiological changes. Musculoskeletal Research at the University of Brighton houses a unique combination of research expertise that will work to further our understanding of these diseases.