This guide summarises the findings of a multi-disciplinary review of the evidence on the diagnosis, prognosis and interventions for acute musculoskeletal pain. The source document (“Evidence-based Management of Acute Musculoskeletal Pain”) is available at www.nhmrc.gov.au. The guide covers the management of five regions of acute musculoskeletal pain (acute low back pain, acute thoracic spinal pain, acute neck pain, acute shoulder pain, anterior knee pain). The scientific evidence on the diagnosis, prognosis and interventions for each of the five regions is summarised in the form of Key Messages. The level of evidence for each Key Message is provided. An overview of acute pain management and effective communication is provided.