Reframing care for persistent musculoskeletal pain (WCPT-05)

WCPT professional seminar (WCPT)
Monday 13 May 2019, 08:30-10:30
Room T+U
From editorial to action: Is it time to reframe how we care for people with persistent non-traumatic musculoskeletal pain?


In June 2018, Lewis & O’Sullivan asked the question: Is it time to reframe how we care for people with persistent non-traumatic musculoskeletal (MSK) pain? The Editorial published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine ( challenged healthcare professionals caring for people with persistent non-traumatic MSK pain to shift the focus of care towards providing effective self-management rather than ‘offering a cure’. This demands a fundamental shift in mindset away from considering persistent MSK pain as a purely structural and/or biomechanical disorder, and realigns care in a similar manner to the management of other persistent non-communicable conditions.

The editorial has generated substantial and ongoing discussion and interest across the diversity of the global physical therapy community. The content of the editorial has been taken up by global news networks and a review of the responses to the editorial, although not exclusively, have been overwhelmingly in support of the vision and suggestions presented.

The authors contend that the current provision of MSK care internationally respresents a ‘super wicked problem’, one that is characterised by; ‘time running out’, ‘no central authority’, ‘no responsible consideration for the future’ and to a large extent, ‘those trying to solve the problems are also causing them’.

One strategy to tackle this problem is through collaboration, where all stakeholders work together to identify the best possible solution. The aim of this session will be to explore perspectives from different stakeholders to discuss collaboratively (i) why we should, (ii) how we should, and (iii) when we should, start the journey of reframing the delivery of care for those presenting with persistent musculoskeletal conditions.


  1. To discuss the current provision of care for those with persistent non-traumatic musculosketal conditions, and to highlight areas where it is failing
  2. To explore explore current models of care from the perspective of contemporary knowledge, funders, clinicians, educators and consumers, and to identify opportunities for improvement
  3. To identify key next steps for the various sectors and produce a summary document, including barriers and opportunities with an aim of reframing current care for the benefit of all stake holders