Their occurrence together in the same person (comorbidity) complicates their treatment and management. When
musculoskeletal conditions and mental disorders occur together maps the extent of their relationship in the Australian population.
In 2007, over 1.5 million people (10% of Australians aged 16-85) had at least one musculoskeletal condition and one mental disorder in the preceding 12 months.The number of females experiencing this comorbidity (862,000) was greater than the number of males (671,000).The extent of comorbidity increased sharply in each successive age group until 45-54 years, after which it decreased sharply.
Overall, 25% of people with a musculoskeletal condition also had a mental disorder, the most common of which were anxiety disorders. The clear association between musculoskeletal conditions and mental disorders found in this study emphasises the need for health-care providers to be aware of and provide for a multidisciplinary approach to the management of this comorbidity.