The musculoskeletal system is the complex network of bones, muscles, and connective tissues including tendons and ligaments. It supports the body’s weight and protects internal organs. When this system is injured or ill, pain results. It can be confined to one area of the body, such as back pain, or spread throughout the entire body as in fibromyalgia. It can be severe or mild, constant or ebbing, and can feel like throbbing, stabbing, burning or stinging. Pain from the Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain Services can also be felt in different ways by different people.
Chronic pain is a problem that affects many people worldwide. Various studies have shown that it has negative effects on quality of life, such as reduced sleep and activity, and may lead to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and eating disorders. Pain management is important, and a combination of medications and physical therapy may help.
Several types of musculoskeletal pain can be experienced, including bone and joint pain, muscle pain, and tenderness and stiffness. Bone pain can be due to a fracture or other injury, as well as some diseases, such as osteoarthritis. Joint pain can be caused by overuse, poor posture, or a condition such as rheumatoid arthritis. Muscle pain is caused by spasms, cramps, injuries and some conditions such as fibromyalgia or complex regional pain syndrome.
Pain is a very complicated subject. The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines it as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with, or resembling, damage to tissue.” The 10th edition of the ICD defined musculoskeletal pain as pain in the bones or joints. The 11th edition of the ICD has integrated psychosocial and biomedical perspectives to encompass all aspects of pain.
The pain of musculoskeletal disorders can be acute, meaning it is sudden and short-lived, or chronic, meaning it lasts longer than three to six months. It can be confined to one area or it can be widespread, as in the case of fibromyalgia and complex regional pain syndrome. It can also be referred pain, where the pain is felt in another part of the body because of pressure on the nerves from a tight muscle or a joint.
The treatment of musculoskeletal pain focuses on medications and physical therapies, such as massage, acupuncture and exercise. Managing stress, getting enough sleep and participating in regular activities, such as socializing with friends, can also help reduce the impact of pain on your daily life. A healthy diet is also key. A doctor can recommend dietary changes that help manage your pain. Taking an anti-inflammatory diet that is low in sugar, fat and saturated and trans fats can help with muscle soreness and joint pain.