Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions are highly prevalent, affecting around 1 in 3 Australians. Although the conditions are rarely fatal, they are large contributors to illness, pain and disability. Compared with the general population, people with musculoskeletal conditions have higher rates of poor health, very high psychological distress and very severe pain.

These conditions are predominantly managed in primary health care settings by a range of health professionals. Treatment involves a combination of medication (for pain and inflammation); physiotherapy; self-management (such as diet and exercise); education on self-management and living with the condition; and referral to specialist care.

Arthritis SA