Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain Services is pain in the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues that support the body’s limbs and back. It can be in a single area, such as the back, or it may spread throughout the entire body in conditions such as fibromyalgia. It can be short-lived, such as after an injury, or it can last for months, such as in chronic back pain or osteoarthritis. Pain can be caused by an injury or by diseases, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, or it may happen from overuse or bad posture. It can also be a side effect of some drugs, such as corticosteroids and antidepressants.
Pain is the main symptom of a musculoskeletal disorder. It can be a sharp or burning sensation, a dull, aching pain or a feeling of tenderness or sensitivity. Sometimes it is so intense that people are unable to function normally. They may have trouble working or sleeping, and it can affect their family life too. It can have a major impact on quality of life and is very common in all age groups.
Most musculoskeletal pain is a result of injury or overuse. It can be a sudden event, such as a broken bone or a pulled muscle, or it can occur from repetitive strain, such as working at a desk job all day or playing sports. Some conditions that cause musculoskeletal pain are arthritis and fibromyalgia, which can be hard to diagnose and treat.
The main symptoms are pain in a specific area of the body, fatigue, sleep problems, and trouble functioning. Inflammation may be visible, as well as redness or swelling, and the affected areas might feel warm or swell up. In some cases, the joints can make clicking or popping sounds. X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are often used to help doctors diagnose musculoskeletal disorders, and blood tests may be needed to check for inflammation or other factors.
For many people, the best treatment is resting the affected area and doing exercises that help to strengthen the muscles. Some doctors also prescribe medications, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If the pain is causing other problems, such as depression or anxiety, it can be helpful to talk about these with your doctor.
Some people who experience chronic musculoskeletal pain develop what is called “chronic pain syndrome”. This happens when the nerves that carry pain signals to the brain start to respond differently. They become more sensitive, or the brain can misread other signals and think they are painful even when they’re not.
The four lifestyle pillars for managing musculoskeletal pain are diet, exercise, relaxation and stress management, and sleep. All of these can help to reduce the severity and frequency of pain. The key is to find what works for each person. Some people find that a combination of all four is the most effective.