Login  |  Register

Physiotherapists applaud calls for early intervention on MSDs

By Karen Keast | Last Updated: 19-11-2013

Physiotherapy New Zealand president Gill Stotter.

New Zealand physiotherapists have applauded a report that calls for early detection and intervention for the one in four New Zealanders who suffer from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

The Fit for Work report states MSDs, such as arthritis, are the leading cause of disability in the country, draining the country’s labour market of valuable skills and costing more than $5.5 billion a year.

The report calls for a national action plan and collaborative approach to tackle the issue, which includes the early detection and referral of MSDs to physiotherapists and occupational therapists in a bid to help people return to the workforce.

“Among the working age population

they (MSDs) are the second largest category of conditions resulting in sickness and invalid’s benefit payments and are thought to make up a large proportion of workers’ compensation claims,” the report states.

“Early detection of MSDs and referral to appropriate care, such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists, and preferably in partnership with the patient and their employer, will help individuals to

return to work as soon as possible and avoid work incapacity in the long term.”

Physiotherapy New Zealand president Gill Stotter said research shows physiotherapy is a cost-effective option for MSDs, working to reduce medication intake, time off work and hospital admissions.

“As physios we work to identify issues and risk factors and then help people return to their normal activities, including working, as soon as possible,” she said.

“Our role is to educate people on what can be done to help as often we can alleviate people’s fears through education and understanding.

“The longer people are away from work the harder it is for them to return, this is why we need to offer help and support as early as possible.”

The report, commissioned by healthcare firm Abbott Laboratories and carried out by researchers at Britain’s Lancaster University, found 15.2 per cent of New Zealanders aged 15 and over were living with at least one type of arthritis in 2010.

That figure is expected to rise to 16.9 per cent, which is equivalent to 120,000 people.

Share your thoughts
Like NCAH on Facebook

Featured Jobs

Operating Theatre Floor Coordinator - South-Eastern Suburbs

Frontline Health - (24-10-2014)


- South-Eastern suburbs
- Expanding Theatres in a growing organisation
- Lead and manage the theatre team


Director Nursing and Clinical Services

St Andrew's Hospital - (24-10-2014)


• Outstanding career opportunity
• Strong and supportive executive team
• Nationally recognised private hospital

A proven, respected, self-motivated Director, Nursing and Clinical Services is sought to lead our Nursing, Clinical Services and Allied Health workforce of around 400 staff.


Registered Midwife

ACT Health - Centenary Hospital for Women and Children - (23-10-2014)


- Attractive salary packaging
- Excellent employment conditions
- Possible relocation allowance


Related job opportunities

Medacs Healthcare


Medacs Healthcare


Medacs Healthcare


Frontline Health


Austra Health


Search more opportunities