Musculoskeletal pain indicates pain in the muscle, bone, ligaments, tendons, and nerve that affects the locomotive system of an individual. The pain can be short-lived, like a bone fracture, muscle sprain, strain, or chronic like arthritis, osteoporosis, or scoliosis. This blog will be Everything You Need to Know About Musculoskeletal Pain.
Causes of Musculoskeletal Pain
There are various causes of Musculoskeletal pain. It can arise due to the wear and tear of muscles during an intense activity like sports or physical training. Traumas, infections in the bone, dislocated joints, and pinched nerve also imparts severe musculoskeletal pain in the affected area. The misuse of muscles causes muscle displacement and misalignment that results in extreme pain and difficulty during movement.
Poor posture and prolonged inactivity after an illness or surgery also induce musculoskeletal pain.
Sometimes the pain can arise from another organ. For example, a heart attack induces pain in the left arm or a kidney stone that triggers lower back pain. This type of pain feels similar to musculoskeletal pain. However, doctors call it referred pain since the stimulus of the pain is another damaged body part.
Types of Musculoskeletal Pain
The most common types of Musculoskeletal pain include:
Bone fracture or injury causes bone pain. Deep and penetrating injuries trigger sharp pain and steady aches in specific areas of your body. Less commonly, bone infections such as osteomyelitis or malignant tumors can originate in bone and affect the nearby soft tissues.
Tendon and Ligament pain
Ligaments and Tendons are tissue bands that connect different muscles to bones. Overuse of muscles and unnatural movement causes wear and tear in the tissues. Muscle sprain, strain, and spasm also cause the tendon. Therefore, an individual experiences stabbing pain in the skeletal system.
In this condition, the pain starts from a specific area like the neck, shoulder, upper arm, or chest and spreads through the entire body. Individuals with fibromyalgia also experience migraine episodes and irritable bowel syndrome.
Nerve Compression Pain
Nerve compression pain occurs due to squeezed or compressed nerves at a specific location. It accompanies the feeling of numbness and tingling in the affected area. Leaning on the elbows, improper sleeping position, and repetitive movements results in severe pain in the musculoskeletal system.
Back pain has multiple causes. It can be due to sudden awkward movement, ruptured discs, or osteoarthritis that affects the lower back. As bones become brittle and porous with age, the spinal cord also develops painful fractures.
Symptoms of Musculoskeletal Pain
Symptoms of Musculoskeletal pain vary depending on the type of pain. Generally, musculoskeletal pain accompanies dull, deep, sharp, and stabbing pain in the affected area. Bone pain is known to be more painful and uncomfortable than tendons and ligament pain.
Muscle pain is usually short-lived if caused by muscle contraction and cramp, whereas tendon pain increases with activity. Individuals experiencing ligament pain feel stiffness and a crunchy sound when moving the affected area.
Fibromyalgia triggers headaches and causes pain and stiffness throughout the body.
In nerve compression pain, you are unable to move the affected body part. The pain radiates outward with a sharp and tingling sensation.
Other symptoms of Musculoskeletal pain include:
- Sleeping problems
- Cracking sound
- Muscle spasm
Your health care provider will start with basic questions to diagnose musculoskeletal pain. The doctor will ask;
- Where does it hurt?
- When did the pain start?
- What activity were you engaged in?
- How does the pain feel?
- What other symptoms are you experiencing?
Depending on your answer, the doctor will confirm the diagnosis through a blood test, X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans. X-rays and CT scans indicate bone fractures, whereas MRI scans identify problems in soft tissues and ligaments. A blood test confirms any signs of inflammation, bone infections, or tumors.
Treatment For Musculoskeletal Pain
Treatment options for Musculoskeletal pain include medication and hands-on therapy. Your doctor can suggest anti-inflammatory drugs or steroid injections depending on the type and intensity of pain. Some rheumatologists also prescribe opioids to relieve arthritis and joint pain.
Chiropractic adjustment and physical therapy can also relieve it. In other cases, occupational therapy, remedial massage, and soft tissue techniques benefit individuals experiencing pain.
Can You Treat Musculoskeletal Pain at Home?
Your doctor can recommend different techniques to manage it at home. It includes doing muscle strengthening and stretching exercises to remove the stiffness from the affected area. Hot and cold compress also relieves soreness and swelling after an injury.
You can also take over-the-counter pain relief medicines for instant relief and relaxation. Multivitamins and minerals supplements also overcome vitamins and mineral deficiencies in your body that lead to joint and muscle pain.
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