Musculoskeletal disorders: primary and secondary interventions

J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2004 Feb;14(1):161-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2003.09.007.


In the United States alone, the annual cost associated with the diagnosis and care of musculoskeletal trauma amounts to tens of billions of dollars [Occupational Musculoskeletal Disorders: Function, Outcomes and Evidence. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia]. Moreover, these costs are continuing to increase at an alarming rate. In fact, in the United States today, occupational musculoskeletal disorders are the leading causes of work disability. Changes in health care policy and demand for improved allocation of health care resources by the Federal government have also recently placed greater pressure on health care professionals to provide the most cost-effective treatment for these disorders, as well as to validate treatment effectiveness. Indeed, treatment-outcome monitoring has assumed new importance in medicine. It is particularly essential in musculoskeletal care, which is currently targeted for attention by health care planners because of its high cost and perceived traditional inefficient care. With these facts in mind, the purpose of the present article is to review the status of current primary and secondary interventions for musculoskeletal disorders. Before doing so, a brief discussion of the biopsychosocial model of pain and disability, which is currently the most heuristic approach to intervention, will be provided.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / therapy*