Musculoskeletal health in Islington

One in eight adults in Islington are living with problems with their joints, bones or muscles, new figures show.

By Will Grimond, Data Reporter

A blood pressure machine on a doctor's desk, with a male doctor in the background, just arms and torso visible
Photo: RADAR

One in eight adults in Islington are living with problems with their joints, bones or muscles, new figures show.

The figures come amid warnings about the impact of these conditions on people’s wellbeing and employment prospects.

Musculoskeletal health conditions include common ailments like back or neck pain, and issues that impact the joints, such as arthritis.

New figures from NHS England suggest 14% of people aged 16 and over in Islington had a musculoskeletal condition as of 2023.

This was below the England average of 18.4%.

In addition, 9.8% of adults in Islington reported having two or more conditions, with one of them being a problem with their joints, bones or muscles.

The figures further show 1,173 people in Islington had rheumatoid arthritis in Islington in the year to March, a condition which causes swelling and stiffness in the joints.

On Wednesday Labour MP Margaret Greenwood, former shadow work and pensions secretary, told Parliament musculoskeletal problems inflict a “terrible human cost”, and add to government spending on social services and the NHS.

She urged the Government to adopt a cross-departmental strategy to tackle the issue.

Data from the Health and Safety Executive shows musculoskeletal disorders were responsible for 6.6 million lost working days across Great Britain, out of 35.2 million days lost to ill health overall. They were the second highest cause of lost days, after ‘stress, depression or anxiety’.

The body also warns workers in agriculture, construction, health and social care, and transport and logistics are most likely to suffer from one of these disorders.

Research by the Health Foundation think tank has found musculoskeletal issues are the main health problem keeping older workers out of employment.

A Government spokesperson said: “We are committed to providing the support people with musculoskeletal and other major health conditions need to find a job that best suits them.

“With inactivity down by over 300,000 since the pandemic peak, our Back to Work Plan will help up to a further 1.1 million disabled people, people with long-term health conditions or the long-term unemployed to look for and stay in work.”

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