Data on musculoskeletal disorders (complaints), collected as part of the Canada Health Survey were analyzed. Sixteen percent of those sampled reported having arthritis, rheumatism or back, limb or joint disorders with a greater prevalence among females and in the older population. In 21% this was associated with limitation of activity with an average of 11 disability days/person/year. Serious back disorders were reported in 4.4% of the population. While the majority of health consultations (53%) were with a physician, a substantial number (34%) were with chiropractors.