The co-author of a study showing muscle and joint conditions cost the country $5.5 billion a year wants the Government to make the problem a health priority.
Musculo-skeletal conditions, mostly affecting the elderly, include arthritis, osteoporosis, lower-back pain disorders and limb deformities in children.
Arthritis affects 500,000 New Zealanders.
Chris Bossley, from the lobby group Bone and Joint Decade New Zealand, who co-wrote the paper, says the Government has seven health priorities but should follow the example of countries such as Australia and Britain and add musculo-skeletal conditions to the list.
The Government says it will carefully consider the findings in the paper.