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Lead Author(s): 

Edward H. Yelin, PhD
Miriam Cisternas, MA

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

In contrast to spine conditions, arthritis and joint pain, and osteoporosis, the prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries actually decreased slightly although the number of individuals reporting injuries has increased slightly. In 1996 to 1998, 23.4 million persons reported a musculoskeletal injury, while 24.8 million reported such an injury in 2009 to 2011. The prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries remained relatively constant at 8.6% and 8.0% of the population, respectively. Age distribution of injuries may explain why the prevalence hasn’t increased. More than half of injuries occur among persons younger than 45 years, a population segment growing more slowly than those who are older. It is possible improvements in the safety of automobiles and other public health prevention activities have also played a role. Although the MEPS reporting of musculoskeletal injury trends supports trend data previously reported, the overall prevalence is substantially lower than the 65.8 million injury treatment episodes reported in the Injuries section of this report. Injury treatment episodes include total cases treated in doctors' offices, outpatient clinics, emergency rooms, and inpatient admissions in 2010. (Reference Table 10.1 PDF CSV)
Percent of Population with Musculoskeletal Injury Condition by Age, United States 1996-2011  


  • 2014

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