In Musculoskeletal Medicine, problems arising from the musculoskeletal system are diagnosed and treated. Musculoskeletal disorders include injuries and diseases affecting the muscles, bones, spine, ligaments, tendons, etc. Musculoskeletal disorders affect the body’s movement and can cause long-term debilitating pain.
What Do Musculoskeletal Specialists Do?
Musculoskeletal physicians treat patients with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that do not require surgery. Healthcare professionals who specialize in these disorders and injuries are called orthopedic surgeons, or orthopedists. Orthopedists specialize in the musculoskeletal system.
The musculoskeletal system is comprised of:
- Blood Vessels
Some common musculoskeletal disorders include:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Muscle / Tendon strain
- Ligament Sprain
- Tension Neck Syndrome
- Thoracic Outlet Compression
- Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
- Radial Tunnel Syndrome
- Digital Neuritis
- Trigger Finger / Thumb
- Mechanical Back Syndrome
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Ruptured / Herniated Disc
What Conditions Do Musculoskeletal Physicians Treat?
The practice of musculoskeletal medicine deals with the non-surgical management of musculoskeletal conditions. The specialists in this field of medicine have extensive experience treating various musculoskeletal problems such as:
- Sports injuries
- Arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis)
- Spinal conditions & back problems
- Pediatric bone & joint conditions
- Musculoskeletal pain management
- Osteoporosis, osteopenia, and associated fragility fractures
- Traumatic fractures
Risk Factors for Musculoskeletal Problems
According to the World Health Organization, the most common risk factors associated with adult musculoskeletal disorders and injuries are as follows:
- Work practices. Poor work practices that involve body mechanics and lifting techniques create unnecessary risk factors that contribute to MSDs. These poor practices create additional stress on their bodies that increases fatigue and decreases their ability to recover.
- Poor overall health habits. People who smoke, drink excessively, are obese, or exhibit numerous other poor health habits put themselves at risk for not only musculoskeletal disorders but also other chronic life-threatening diseases.
- Lack of rest. MSDs develop when fatigue sets in. People who perform daily physical labor or repetitive motions and do not get adequate rest put themselves at higher risk. Recovery time is needed for the musculoskeletal system to function properly.
- Poor nutrition, fitness, and hydration. For a country as developed as the United States, an alarming number of people are malnourished, dehydrated, and at a very low level of physical fitness. People who do not take care of their bodies put themselves at a higher risk of developing musculoskeletal and chronic health problems.
5 Facts About Musculoskeletal Conditions
The World Health Organization reports that musculoskeletal disorders:
- Are the leading contributor to disability, with low back pain being the single leading cause of disability worldwide.
- Including injuries are not just conditions of older age, they are prevalent across the lifespan. Over one-third of the population (including children) live with a painful and disabling musculoskeletal condition.
- Significantly limit mobility and dexterity, leading to early retirement from work, reduced accumulated wealth, and reduced ability to participate in social functions.
- Are highly prevalent among older people and very commonly linked with depression.
- Account for the greatest proportion of non-cancer chronic pain conditions. Chronic pain associated with musculoskeletal conditions is very common. Muscle tissue can be damaged merely by the wear and tear of daily life or trauma to an area.
Causes of Musculoskeletal Pain
- jerking movements
- auto accidents
- direct blows to the muscle
- postural strain
- repetitive movements
- overuse of limbs
- prolonged immobilization
- changes in posture or poor body mechanics
- spinal alignment problems
Our Musculoskeletal Medicine Specialist, Dr. Dana Gatson, can answer your questions. Visit Johnson Memorial Health online to see how we can help you get healthy again. Our team of healthcare professionals go above and beyond to ensure that patients receive the best available care.