Ease the pain, heal the strain

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Ease the pain, heal the strain

Advancing MSK solutions


Advancing MSK solutions

Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions impact every stage of life – from childhood to older age. Conditions range from ones that arise suddenly and are short-lived (fractures, sprains and strains, associated with pain and limitations in functioning) to long-term conditions such as chronic primary low back pain and osteoarthritis.

Universal impact

Managing and treating MSK conditions continues to emerge as a growing health care concern. Low back pain (LBP) is the leading cause of disability globally. In 2020, approximately 1 in 13 people, (619 million people), experienced LBP, a 60% increase from 1990. Cases of LBP are expected to rise to an estimated 843 million by 2050, with the greatest growth anticipated in Africa and Asia, where populations are growing, and people are living longer.1

Financial fallout

In 2022, more than $135 million was spent on musculoskeletal conditions globally, with North America and European regions having the highest costs.2 Delivering a musculoskeletal intervention program across multiple regions could reduce spending in multiple high-cost regions. It may surprise you to learn:

  • Musculoskeletal conditions represent around 10 – 11% of all Cigna HealthcareSM, International Health’s medical claims (+ $200 million in claims)3
  • MSK conditions are the highest reported condition among customers under 65 years old2
  • Employees with musculoskeletal conditions lose an average of 10 days of work per year2
  • MSK conditions lead to the most lost workdays compared to any other major health condition2
  • Stress, strains, and even long hours of sitting have taken a toll on Americans’ health, affecting 1 in 2 adults4

Mending MSK

The new Musculoskeletal Support Program from Cigna Healthcare International Health is a proactive, interactive coaching program designed to create, implement, manage, and monitor a personalized MSK care plan. It provides customers with clinical support throughout their treatment journey.

Cigna Healthcare International Health offers an enhanced MSK support program, a multi-phase initiative, which includes:

  • Enhancements to pre-authorization and medical review processes to support appropriate care decisions and affordability goals
  • Building a musculoskeletal preferred provider network in targeted countries
  • Creating a preventative care intervention program to reduce intensity of MSK risk factors and conditions and lead to better health outcomes
  • A risk stratification process to accurately identify customers likely to benefit most from the program

Customers taking advantage of the Cigna Healthcare MSK program can expect to realize improved recovery times, avoiding unnecessary surgeries, reduction in opioid use and lower total medical expenditures.

In our new article, Dr. Stella George, Chief Medical Officer for International Health, Cigna Healthcare sheds light on the physical and financial benefits of proactive intervention and treatment of MSK conditions.

Read the article here: Ease the pain, heal the strain


1. World Health Organization. WHO Releases Guidelines on Chronic Low Back Pain. Published December 7, 2023.
2. Bone and Joint Burden. The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the United States: Prevalence, Societal and Economic Costs (BMUS), 4th edition, The United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI), and international collaborative movement sanctioned by the United Nations/World Health Organization. Accessed May 3, 2024.
3. Based on Cigna Healthcare, International Health claims information from 2021 and 2022 data. Subject to change.
4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical Inactivity. Last reviewed September 8, 2022.
5. UK, Office for Health Improvement & Disparities. Musculoskeletal Health: Applying All our Health. Updated March 1, 2022.
6. World Health Organization. Musculoskeletal health. Published July 14, 2022.

Offered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company or its affiliates.

This information is for educational purposes only. It's not medical advice. Always consult with your health care provider for appropriate examinations, treatment and health care recommendations.

This article serves only as a reference and is intended for informational purposes only. Nothing in this article constitutes legal, tax, financial planning, health or medical advice including diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. References to third-party organizations or companies, and/or their products, processes or services, do not constitute an endorsement or warranty thereof. Products and services may not be available in all jurisdictions and are expressly excluded where prohibited by applicable law. All group insurance policies and health benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For costs and details of coverage, contact a Cigna Healthcare representative.

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