PROMOTING THE USE OF SELF-MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR PEOPLE WITH PERSISTENT MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDERS: THE ROLE OF PHYSICAL THERAPISTS

Review written by Dr Sandy Hilton info

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Chronic MSK pain is consistently correlated with decreased quality of life and increased cost for individuals and health systems. The global cost of chronic musculoskeletal (MSK) pain is well documented and increasing despite years of targeted interventions. Chronic pain is now classified as a disease in ICD-11 (adopted by WHO in May 2019). This is a significant update and indicative of the need for a change in both definition and management (1).

The authors call for a change in management of MSK disorders with an emphasis on developing self-management strategies and increasing self-efficacy. The objective of this paper was to defend the position that “self-management strategies are essential to the management of persistent musculoskeletal disorders”, and that physiotherapists/physical therapists are well positioned to lead this change. The paper also supports a long-term goal where “patients will feel empowered and have the skills and knowledge to actively manage their condition”.

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METHODS

This is a ‘Viewpoint” article, an expert opinion paper that summarizes current evidence and presents recommendations for best practice.

RESULTS

Building on a body of research and expert consensus, the authors describe what components are needed for “good” self-management support. This was discussed in an earlier review on reframing the care of people with non-traumatic MSK pain (2). MSK pain

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