Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Beyond aches and pain: the hidden economic burden of musculoskeletal conditions in children and adolescents
  1. Mwidimi Ndosi1,2,
  2. Polly Livermore3,4
  1. 1School of Health and Social Wellbeing, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
  2. 2Academic Rheumatology, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol, UK
  3. 3Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK
  4. 4NIHR GOSH BRC, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mwidimi Ndosi, School of Health and Social Wellbeing, University of the West of England Bristol, Bristol BS16 1DD, UK; Mwidimi.Ndosi{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Commentary on: Espirito Santo CM, Santos VS, Kamper SJ, et al. Overview of the economic burden of musculoskeletal pain in children and adolescents: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Pain 2024;165:296–323. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000003037.

Implications for practice and research

  • Early, comprehensive pain management can significantly reduce the societal burden of musculoskeletal pain in children and adolescents by minimising disability, school absences and lost productivity.

  • Further research on the economic burden of musculoskeletal pain in low-income and middle-income settings is needed to understand global impact and inform appropriate interventions.


Musculoskeletal pain significantly impacts children and adolescents, and their families. It contributes to global years-lived with disability, leading to disrupting daily activities, school absences, socioeconomic costs and increased healthcare utilisation. There is an association between childhood musculoskeletal pain and the development of chronic pain in adulthood, along with elevated risks of anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. …

View Full Text


  • Twitter @ndosie, @Pollylivermore

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.