More than 11 million Canadians are affected by back pain and other musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions annually. It is the second leading reason for physician visits, the number one cause of disability, and it rivals cardiovascular disease in overall health burdens (Desjardins, 2006).
The widespread incidence of MSK conditions are a major pressure for all health systems in Canada, but this impact is proportionately much higher for populations that are the responsibility of the federal government, including Canadian Forces, Veterans, First Nations and Inuit, RCMP and inmates. There is substantial evidence that a more systemic and coordinated approach by the federal government to prevention and treatment of MSK conditions among federal populations would both improve health outcomes and reduce direct and indirect costs. As Canada’s MSK experts, the CCA is proposing two recommendations to improve the federal government’s management of MSK conditions and associated impacts.