The Musculoskeletal Health Toolkit

In the UK, 2.8 million people under the age of 35 live with a Musculoskeletal (MSK) condition.  Around 400,000 have conditions that start before the age of 16. It impacts their physical, and for some, their mental health. Young people with arthritis or a related MSK condition can often find it challenging to manage their condition along with school, college, university, or work commitments.

The Musculoskeletal (MSK) Health Toolkit was developed in collaboration with the British Society of Rheumatologists and the Society of Occupational Medicine, alongside patient representative groups, college, and university representatives, as well as young people living with MSK conditions.

Its main aims are to:

  1. help employers and FE institutions understand the part they play in preventing MSK conditions
  2. set out how employers and FE institutions can support young people with chronic MSK conditions to realise their potential, thrive and remain in work or education.

“The most effective support I have received both whilst a student at university and in my early career has come from having open and honest conversations with the people around me about my needs and the reality of living with arthritis.  Support from universities at the enrolment stage is vital for discussing appropriate accommodation such as ground floor/adaptations, conversations with tutors around options for extensions if deadlines are affected by flare-ups or hospital visits, and planning your day around medications if side effects are a struggle."
- young person living with an MSK condition.

Watch the toolkit launch webinar.

Read the The Musculoskeletal (MSK) Health Toolkit for employers and further education institutions (PDF).