Author(s): Ihlebaek C, Brage S, Natvig B, Bruusgaard D
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Musculoskeletal pain is one of the most common reasons for seeking both traditional and alternative medical treatment. The aim of this study was to provide an overview of musculoskeletal disorders in Norway. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The article is based on a Norwegian report on musculoskeletal disorders from 2004, and a non-systematic search in PubMed for relevant literature from the period 2005-2009. RESULTS: Musculoskeletal pain is common in the Norwegian population, and 75-80\% will have experienced such pain during a month. More women than men report musculoskeletal pain, and the prevalence increases with increasing age. Musculoskeletal pain from only one area is unusual (11\%), while pain from five or more areas is reported by approximately 40\%. A high number of painful areas is associated with reduced general functioning and an increase in work disability and sick leave. The prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in the population seems to be stable over time, but the proportion of work disability caused by these disorders has decreased the last 10 years. Despite of this, musculoskeletal disorders are still the most frequent cause of work disability. INTERPRETATION: Many are affected by musculoskeletal disorders, and they are still the most common cause of disability benefits in Norway.
This article was published in Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen
and referenced in Journal of General Practice