The musculoskeletal (MSK) system is the “backbone” of your body, literally. It’s comprised of not only the spine but all your muscles, bones and joints. It’s what gives your body form. It’s what makes it possible for you to move and do the things you enjoy. Keeping this vital system strong is essential for a full and active life.
When your MSK system is functioning well, you feel strong and healthier; however, when there’s a problem you might experience pain and even disability. More than one in two adults report experiencing a musculoskeletal condition such as back pain, neck pain, joint pain, arthritis and osteoporosis. They are the most commonly reported medical conditions among those under age 65 and the second most common condition for people age 65 and older.
MSK conditions become more common as we age, sometimes limiting our ability to move and accomplish everyday activities. This can affect overall health negatively by contributing to lack of physical activity, which can in turn lead to obesity and chronic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Low back pain, one of the most common MSK complaints, is the single leading cause of disability worldwide. MSK pain and disability can also lead to problems such as social isolation, depression and even loss of independence.
Take Steps to Better MSK Health
Improving bone, muscle and joint health is a smart way to live healthier and actively now and into the future. Nurturing MSK health begins with good nutrition, adequate hydration and healthy habits such as regular rest and physical activity. Prevention is also key; we can reduce the risk of pain and injury by improving our posture and movement techniques as well the ergonomics of our work and home environments.
In honor of National Chiropractic Health Month this year, the American Chiropractic Association offers the information below to help you begin taking small steps to better musculoskeletal health--which can lead to greater strength, stability and ultimately the success of a life lived more fully and actively.