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Musculoskeletal Pain: Everything You Need To Know About Musculoskeletal Pain


Musculoskeletal pain is described as any pain that affects the muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones or nerves. It is one of the most common forms of pain and comes in a variety of different forms and severities. Since this type of pain can affect anyone and everyone, it’s important to be aware of it.

So what is Musculoskeletal Pain[1], what causes it and how do you treat it? If you’re asking yourself any of these questions, we’ve got you covered. Let’s take a dive into our comprehensive guide to Musculoskeletal Pain and the causes, symptoms and treatments.

What is Musculoskeletal Pain?

As we mentioned above, Musculoskeletal Pain is a blanket term for a pain that could be felt from anything that has a harmful impact on the muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones or nerves. It can either be acute, in that it can come on quickly with fast and very serious symptoms, or chronic, in that it is more long-term pain.

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It can be localized, such as having lower back pain, or it can be widespread and affect the whole body. Lower back pain is actually the most famous form of Musculoskeletal Pain. However, tendonitis, stress fractures and myalgia are also common.

What are the Different Types of Musculoskeletal Pain?

Types of Musculoskeletal Pain

There are several different types of Musculoskeletal Pain. These can include:

  • Muscle Pain: Muscle pain can be severe. It can be caused by an injury to the muscles, autoimmune diseases, a loss of blood flow, tumors and/or infections. Muscle cramps can also be included.
  • Bone Pain: A deep and penetrating pain that’s most likely from an injury. Ensure that you see a doctor right away to rule out tumors or fractures being the cause of pain.
  • Joint Pain: This type of pain often feels stiff and can be because of injury or disease. This type of pain worsens whenever your move your joints. The most common cause of joint pain is arthritis[2].
  • Pain of Ligaments and Tendons: This type of pain is usually caused by an injury or a sprain. The pain will usually get worse when you stretch or move the area.
  • Fibromyalgia: Fybromyalgia[3]is a condition that makes tendons, ligaments and muscles painful. It is usually followed with a number of other symptoms and the pain can be widespread.
  • Tunnel Syndromes: This is pain that is caused by the compression of nerves. This includes Carpal Tunnel, Cubital Tunnel, and Tarsal Tunnel Syndromes. The pain is a burning pain along the site of nerves.

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What are the Causes of Musculoskeletal Pain?

Causes of Musculoskeletal Pain

There is a number of different causes to Musculoskeletal Pain. The most common causes are injuries to the muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments or nerves. You can cause damage to the muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments or nerves through anything such as an accident or a fall.

The most common form of Musculoskeletal Pain is a lower back pain. This pain is usually caused by overuse and poor posture. In fact, lower back pain from overuse affects around 33% of adults[4].

What are the Symptoms of Musculoskeletal Pain?

There are a variety of different symptoms of Musculoskeletal Pain. It all depends on what sort of pain you’re experiencing. The symptoms may be a pulled muscle or a full body ache. You may even find that your muscles are burning or twitching.

The most common symptoms of Musculoskeletal pain tend to include severe pain, fatigue and difficulty sleeping. If you find that any of these symptoms persist then it’s recommended that you make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

What Tests are likely to be Carried Out on Musculoskeletal Pain?

Carried Out on Musculoskeletal Pain

To determine the cause of this Pain, it’s likely that your doctor will carry out some tests. These tests may include:

  • Blood Tests to look for the common causes of Arthritis and other diseases.
  • X-Rays to search for fractures, tumors or infections of the bones. May also be used to look for the signs of Arthritis.
  • MRI Scan to check for major ligament, tendon or joint damage.
  • CT Scan to further confirm any problems found on an X-Ray.
  • Other Image Tests such as Ultrasound, Bone Scanning or arthrography. These tests can be used to diagnose certain conditions.
  • Joint fluid tests may be carried out if the joint is swollen.

How do you Treat Musculoskeletal Pain?

Treat Musculoskeletal Pain

There are a number of different treatments for Musculoskeletal Pain. Each type of Musculoskeletal Pain will have a particular treatment which is more beneficial to the pain than others. It may also be that your Musculoskeletal pain is an indication of something more and therefore you’ll need further treatment than just pain management.

The most common treatments are:

  • Anti-Inflammatories or Over-the-counter pain medication.
  • Certain Musculoskeletal Disorders like Fibromyalgia can be treated with serotonin and norepinephrine medication.
  • Anti-Inflammatory injections.
  • Exercises and stretches to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility.
  • Practicing Relaxation techniques.
  • Chiropractic care.
  • Therapeutic Massage.

Read NextChronic Neck Pain- Know Its Cause, Symptoms & Treatments


Musculoskeletal Pain covers a massive amount of symptoms. Almost everyone in the world has likely suffered from some form of musculoskeletal pain at some point in their lives.

Musculoskeletal pain can be from an injury or it can be caused by any number of conditions such as Arthritis or Fibromyalgia.

Treatments for musculoskeletal pain really depends on what sort of pain you’re experiencing. Whether you’re suffering from muscular pain or bone pain will determine what course of treatment your doctor will prescribe to you.

Treatments are multiple and often are treated with some form of physical therapy such as chiropractic care or physiotherapy.

If you find that you’re experiencing any sort of musculoskeletal pain, make an appointment with your doctor if the pain persists.

The damage caused by accidents may be more than you can physically see. It can also be an indicator of other issues such as arthritis, infections or even tumors. This is why it’s important to make sure you see your doctor if your symptoms persist for more than a few days.

Image Credits
Feature Image – Istockphoto.com
In-Post Image – Istockphoto.com

Contributor : Janice (Joint Health Magazine)

Janice Carson is a freelance journalist who specializes in Joint health issues and provides treatments and solutions to the sufferers. She is having medical writing experience of many years. She is contributing her work to jointhealthmagazine.com.

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