Musculoskeletal health conditions are amongst the leading causes of pain, disability and loss of quality of life. They account for a significant proportion of primary care consultations and are costly in terms of healthcare utilization, direct and indirect costs. Furthermore, they can have a profound negative impact on people’s ability to work and live their lives to the fullest.
The good news is that chronic musculoskeletal health issues are preventable and there are many holistic approaches to addressing them. A comprehensive approach to lifestyle habits like eating a balanced diet, staying physically active, managing stress, and getting enough sleep can set the foundation for healthy musculoskeletal functioning. Moreover, a naturopathy and yoga-based lifestyle intervention has been shown to improve outcomes in a range of musculoskeletal conditions including back pain, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Visit the best chiropractor Atlanta, GA to learn more about this approach.
Despite their widespread prevalence, chronic musculoskeletal conditions can be difficult to manage. For example, primary health practitioners are often overwhelmed with demands and may not be able to devote sufficient time or effort to people with musculoskeletal health conditions. There is also a need to provide a holistic service, given that musculoskeletal problems often occur in the context of other long-term conditions. This is particularly challenging in primary care, where the vast majority of doctors are generalists and have competing priorities.
A key challenge in the development and implementation of models of care for musculoskeletal conditions is the need to address the widening gap between research evidence and practice. This gap is exacerbated by the fact that national guidelines are not always translated into practical delivery options for health services. Models of care are one way to bridge this gap, by identifying and disseminating best practices that can be implemented in a variety of settings.
Developing and implementing models of care for musculoskeletal health can be an effective way to promote uptake of national guidance on the management of specific conditions, thereby increasing clinical effectiveness and reducing costs. However, it is essential that the models of care are developed and tested in a wide range of contexts to ensure that they can be applied with maximum effect.
An innovative tool called the MSK-HQ is being developed to support individuals to report a broad spectrum of symptoms, enabling them to make more informed choices about their health and wellbeing. The MSK-HQ could encourage people to seek medical attention, especially if they feel their symptoms are not being fully assessed in the current health system, and help clinicians identify and manage complex needs in a more holistic way.
The US military is incorporating a holistic approach to the prevention of musculoskeletal injuries through the creation of Guardian Resilience Teams (GRT) at every base, as well as virtual teams for geographically-separated units and remote Guardians. The GRTs are multidisciplinary teams of subject matter experts on human performance and prevention, and will include, at a minimum: a Holistic Health Integrator, Physical Therapist, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Licensed Mental Health Provider.