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Musculoskeletal, bone and joint health

Ending the burden of musculoskeletal disorders
Our multidisciplinary research into musculoskeletal disorders aims to reduce the disease burden by improving our understanding and facilitating the translation of treatment into primary health networks.

In Australia, one in three (6.9 million) people have a musculoskeletal condition, which is estimated to cost the country around $55 billion per year. Our multidisciplinary team of researchers carry out pioneering research to maintain musculoskeletal health and find solutions to prevent and treat the pain and disability associated with musculoskeletal disorders.

We work collaboratively with clinicians, researchers, consumers and policymakers to facilitate rapid translation of new knowledge into improved care and better health outcomes.

Areas undertaking research in this theme

We have a dedicated group of multidisciplinary researchers conducting musculoskeletal health research throughout our schools, centres and facilities.

Musculoskeletal health research in the Sydney School of Public Health is conducted through the Institute for Musculoskeletal Health. We focus on research that delivers a real-world impact with the direct involvement of the public.

Our research is divided into three streams:

  • back pain and musculoskeletal conditions, including researching into improving critical care, preventing overdiagnosis, intervention testing, children and adolescents, and surgery.
  • physical activity, ageing and disability, including research into mobility and falls, healthy ageing and disability.
  • evidence and equity, including the PEDro Partnership and Indigenous health.
Research highlights
Key researchers

Learn more about research at the Sydney School of Public Health.

Our mission is to translate our research findings into clinical practice, to prevent injury and disability and cure debilitating chronic pain. Many of our researchers have been awarded competitive national and international grants to fund their innovative research.

Our most recent grant recipients are conducting multi-site, cross-disciplinary projects to reduce the burden of musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain and debilitating neuromuscular disorders in Australian communities.


Learn more about research at the Sydney School of Health Sciences.

We conduct important research into musculoskeletal health.

Key researchers

Learn more about research at the Sydney Medical School.

Our research in this theme involves investigation in human diseases of the musculoskeletal system including:

  • muscular dystrophy
  • osteoporosis.

Learn more about research at the School of Medical Sciences.

Centres, institutes and groups

  • Institute for Bone and Joint Research
    The Institute of Bone and Joint Research was established to advance our understanding of the disorders and diseases of the musculoskeletal system, their diagnosis and treatments. The IBJR is an institute without walls, and also disseminates recent advances in musculoskeletal sciences through regular public seminars and scientific symposia.
  • Institute for Musculoskeletal Health
    The institute is a partnership between the Sydney Local Health District and the Sydney School of Public Health that brings together patients and clinicians with world-leading musculoskeletal researchers.
  • Sydney Musculoskeletal, Bone and Joint Health Alliance (SydMSK)
    SydMSK is a multidisciplinary initiative that aims to expand the University's research strength in musculoskeletal health and improve research translation with the Local Health Districts and Primary Health Networks in collaboration with Sydney Health Partners. Our membership is drawn from four faculties, nine research institutes and four Local Health Districts.

Affiliated centres and groups