In Australia, musculoskeletal conditions and diseases are one of the major causes of chronic pain such as arthritis, back pain and osteoporosis. Since it has been gradually increasing throughout the years, is the Australian government’s department of health and politicians doing anything about this issue? Turns out, they care about citizens experiencing these chronic conditions.
The problems involved with musculoskeletal conditions include issues related to the joints, bones and muscles. In Australia, more than 1 million citizens face a form of back pain, whether it is related to their muscles, joints, connective tissues or the nerve located at their back. There are more than 150 types of musculoskeletal conditions, here are the most popular ones:
Over 900,000 Australians suffer from this condition, known to cause the thinning of bones. Your bones will become weak, easy to break and fragile. Without warning, osteoporosis will gradually develop over the years. One of the common ways to detect it is when a person fractures their bones, for instance, when they fall and fractured part of their body.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that is long-term and could occur at any joint in the body. The fingers, hips, knees and big toe are the common areas. Some of the common symptoms include clicking noises, lack of flexibility and joint stiffness or pain.
3. Back pain
Back pain, being the most common condition everyone around the world faces in their everyday lives, could happen to any age range. Factors that cause back pain include bad posture, an injury or a sudden fall.
4. Back problems such as scoliosis
Scoliosis is a common condition that could occur during birth or develop over time. Those who experience scoliosis should visit the doctor regularly as it requires regular checkups. For severe cases, they would need to go for surgery to straighten or realign the spine.
5. Rheumatoid arthritis
This condition is not that common compared to the rest, it does happen to individuals that have low immune systems. It is an autoimmune disease that affects the lining of the joints which causes the joints to be damaged and inflamed.
6. Juvenile arthritis
The medical condition that causes harm to the joints is called arthritis. Over 3 million Australians experience arthritis, which is quite a huge number for both adults and children alone. Their joints become swollen, stiff, deformed and painful. Juvenile arthritis, however, is for children below 16 years of age that suffers from this particular condition. Arthritis in children could last for several months or years, depending on the type of arthritis.
Lupus is another autoimmune disease that affects all parts of the body caused by several environmental and genetic factors. This condition is quite rare but regularly occurs with women between the ages of 15 to 45. Some of the symptoms include skin rashes, swelling in the joints, fever, and tiredness.
How Australia’s Government Healthcare Department Is Solving This Issue
The Australian government does not take this issue lightly and formed several programs to help combat musculoskeletal conditions. Though there are several other programs out there such as the Back in Action Kimberly Clark Program, the programs held by the government are usually free and the public could access them easily.
Below are some of the programs and treatments for musculoskeletal conditions by the government:
- The Medicare Benefits Schedule was created in order to help pay for the costs of patient care and the plans for Chronic Disease Management.
- To help pay for medicines, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme was established.
- In order to monitor the conditions closely in Australia, especially musculoskeletal conditions, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) was created.
- Arthritis Australia is being funded to increase the awareness of arthritis and provide the utmost support to Australians that are suffering from this condition.
- $4 million is funded in order to support the early implementation of the National Strategic Action Plan, created solely for those suffering from Arthritis, including:
- $2 million is to support all valuable information and awareness activities
- $2 million is to support the health professionals through education and training
- $4 million is being allocated to the early implementation of the National Strategic Action Plan dedicated for those suffering from Osteoporosis, including:
- $3 million is funded for a pilot project held by the Medical Research Future Fund
- $500,000 is being funded to Osteoporosis Australia for helping them with their work
- $500,000 is funded, known as a competitive grant for any work related to education and awareness