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The MSK crisis impacts more than 11 million Canadians and costs our economy $22 billion annually. Chiropractors can help!



Chiropractors are spine, muscle, and nervous system experts
Helping Canadians live the healthy, active lives they want. 

Learn more about the Canadian Chiropractic Association's policy recommendations.

Quick Facts

Quick Facts


More than 11 million Canadians suffer from MSK conditions each year. 


MSK condition are among the leading causes for emergency room visits; and is the second leading cause of both short and long term disability claims. 


MSK is the leading cause of disability around the globe, according to the WHO. 

Canada’s chronic pain crisis  

MSK conditions such as back pain, arm or neck strain and diseases of the muscle and joints are having a devastating impact on the health, quality of life, and workforce participation of Canadians, as well as on Canada’s economy.  


MSK & Workforce Recovery 

  • 1/3 of all lost time at work is caused by back pain. 

  • MSK conditions are the second-highest causes of both short- and long-term disability claims in Canada, mental health is the first.  

  • 72.9 per cent of chronic pain sufferers say that pain interferes with work. 

  • 85 per cent of workers will suffer back pain in their lifetime. icons-03.png

​​MSK & Mental Health 

  • MSK and mental health disorders are often intertwined. Functional limitations and chronic pain associated with MSK conditions predispose people to a variety of mental health problems.  

  • 61 per cent of people with mental health condition also experience chronic pain. 

  • Studies have demonstrated that chronic back and neck pain are associated with depression, with up to 65% of chronic pain patients experiencing both.  

  • Arthritis, in particular rheumatoid arthritis, has been reported to be associated with mood and anxiety disorders. icons-03.png

MSK Pain & the Opioid Crisis 

  • MSK pain is a key driver of the initial prescribing of opioids.  

  • Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 7,000 Canadians have died of apparent opioid death. This is an 88% increase from the same time period prior to the pandemic. 

  • Canadians suffering from MSK conditions are often prescribed opioids as the first line of treatment and this is one of the primary causes for over-use of prescribed opioids.  

  • According to the Canadian Pain Task Force (CPTF), the lack of access to non-opioid options to treat pain is one of the factors contributing to the opioid crisis. icons-02.png

COVID-19 & MSK Health  

  • Emerging data is also showing that health related challenges related to working from home are on the rise. An Institute for Employment Studies survey found that more than more than 50 per cent of employees working remotely due to the pandemic report a significant increase in MSK complaints, such as neck and back pain.  

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to decreased physical activity, weight gain, poorer eating habits, and increased feelings of anxiety, all of which have a negative impact on MSK health.  

  • The 2021 Benefits Canada Healthcare Survey identified MSK issues due to poor ergonomics as one of the major anticipated health and wellness challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.   

  • This new ‘new normal’ will likely increase the need and demand for musculoskeletal treatment services, particularly chiropractic care. 

About us

About the Canadian Chiropractic Association

Canada’s chiropractors are a critical part of the solution to address this growing epidemic. Each year, at least 4.7 million Canadians rely on the healthcare provided by chiropractors to prevent and manage the serious burden of MSK pain and diseases.  


Chiropractic care is a regulated health profession in all provinces and remains one of Canada’s largest and fastest growing primary contact care professions. 


Chiropractic care has significant long-term benefits, from increasing the quality of life for patients and helping employees return to work faster, to reducing public healthcare costs and pressures on the system. Chiropractic treatments are evidence-informed, non-invasive, drug-free manual therapies that are often combined with therapeutic exercise and lifestyle modifications. For optimal health and quality of life, a chiropractor should be part of every Canadian’s healthcare team.  

Learn more about chiropractic and the Canadian Chiropractic Association here.

184 Front St E Suite 200

Toronto, ON M5A 4N3



184 Front St E Suite 200

Toronto, ON M5A 4N3

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