CMCC faculty member is part of international team aiming to make musculoskeletal health a global priority

Musculoskeletal issues - including low back pain, fractures, arthritis and osteoporosis - are globally under-prioritised according to an international research team including Dr. Deborah Kopansky-Giles at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College

Toronto, ON, Canada, July 12, 2021 - Research commissioned by the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health (G-MUSC) has found that despite being the world’s leading cause of pain, disability and health care expenditure, the prevention and management of musculoskeletal health, including conditions such as low back pain, fractures, arthritis, and osteoporosis, is globally under-prioritised.  The report proposes a blueprint for eight key actions that will enable health systems in all countries to address this gap.

Professor Andrew Briggs at Curtin School of Allied Health in Australia led the project with a team of international researchers funded by the Bone and Joint Foundation. The result is a blueprint representing 72 countries and 116 organizations that identifies global gaps and trends in health policies.

“One of the limiting factors to reform efforts is that no global-level strategic response to the burden of disability has been developed – until now. This novel data-driven initiative will be critical to guiding global-level work in health reform, such as that undertaken by the World Health Organization (WHO),” says Briggs. “Global-level guidance is needed for country-level responses which can be adapted for local needs.

Dr. Christine Bradaric-Baus, VP, Academic, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, is proud of the scope of work, what it can contribute to health policy and its potential to impact models of care across the globe, “This report draws on the strengths of research scientists whose expertise centres on musculoskeletal care, local and global needs assessment and the mechanics of establishing policy.”

According to Professor Tony Woolf, Chair of the Bone and Joint Foundation, more than 1.5 billion people live with a musculoskeletal condition, a number that has risen 84 per cent since 1990, and despite many recommendations and an ageing population, continues to under-prioritised.

Professor Deborah Kopansky-Giles, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, the University of Toronto and G-MUSC remarked on the inclusive approach to seeking input for the blueprint.  “The design that led to this blueprint was inclusive, enabling MSK stakeholders from countries of various levels of economic health to provide their perspectives.  Input was solicited from patients, health advocates, clinicians, teachers, policy makers and researchers to ensure a breadth of perspectives. The blueprint provides an excellent baseline from which Canada, other countries and the WHO can use to build their MSK health policies.” 

The project was funded by the Bone and Joint Decade Foundation, with additional funding provided by Curtin. The international team is made up of researchers from: University of Sydney; University of Toronto; Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Kathmandu University and the University of Southern Denmark.

Two research papers will be published in Global Health Research and Policy and BMJ Global Health and the resulting report ‘Towards a global strategy to improve musculoskeletal health’ is published on the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health website.

About the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health

The Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health works to reduce the burden and cost of musculoskeletal conditions to individuals, carers and society worldwide. It influences health policy through evidence and advocacy, using its unified voice and global reach. Its vision is a society where prevention, treatment and care of people with musculoskeletal disorders is of a high standard and consistently accessible in order to give people the freedom to move without pain and be independent. 

The Global Alliance is the only organization that brings together all stakeholders, considering all musculoskeletal conditions working with policy makers at national, regional and global levels.  G-MUSC gains its strength from bringing together national and international patient, professional, and scientific organizations coming from high-, middle- and low-income countries.   Together this alliance is driving the agenda to position musculoskeletal conditions as a public health priority to keep people moving.

The prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries should be among the leading health concerns in the minds, actions and funding priorities of policy makers, health providers and the public.

Its mission is to promote musculoskeletal health and science worldwide.

About CMCC

The Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College is recognised for creating leaders in spinal health. With graduates practicing in 37 countries and faculty who are leaders in their fields, CMCC delivers world class chiropractic education, research, and patient care.

The campus features modern teaching and laboratory space, including new simulation and biomechanics laboratories, and is extended across Toronto through its network of community based interprofessional clinics that serve diverse patient populations.

CMCC offers a four-year undergraduate program leading to a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree. This degree program is offered under the written consent of Ontario’s Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities for the period from 24/3/11 to 24/3/23.

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For more information:

CMCC and G-MUSC (Canada)

Professor Deborah Kopansky-Giles

Phone: +1647-988-7787

Mara Bartolucci

AVP, Institutional Advancement + Communications

Phone: +1416-482-2340

Lead Author:

Professor Andrew Briggs
Phone: +61407479147