Before finding out whether it is musculoskeletal pain or non musculoskeletal pain, Even though the experience of pain varies from person to person, therefore first we should know about the intensity of pain. Based on intensity of pain it is categorized into two parts; Acute pain and Chronic pain.
Acute pain is the pain generally arising instantly due to some specific cause such as surgery, broken bones, dental work, burns or cuts, labor and childbirth. Acute pain generally doesn’t stay longer than six months and it goes away when the cause for the pain is treated but it is sharp in intensity.
Chronic pain is the pain that is developing in nature and may stay longer than six months. It is found that many people suffer chronic pain even when there is no past medical history and may continue even after the cause has healed or gone away. Chronic pain develops due to many reasons such as headache, arthritis, cancer, nerve pain, back pain. This type of pain remains active in the nervous system for weeks, months or years which produce physical or mental conditions such as tense muscles, limited ability to move around, a lack of energy, changes in appetite, depression, anger, anxiety, fear of re-injury.
Both acute and chronic pain can be exhausting and can affect a person’s state of mind. But the nature of chronic pain is developing in nature and about 70% of people with chronic pain are treated with pain medication.
Based on other factors pain is also classified as musculoskeletal-pain
According to WHO, mainly pain is classified by the kind of damage that causes. The most common symptom of musculoskeletal disorders is the pain and it may range from mild to severe and from acute to chronic pain. Musculoskeletal conditions may contain more than 150 conditions that affect the individuals and it is generally characterized by pain intensity and limitations ability and capability. Musculoskeletal pain can be caused by disorders of bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bursae.
The most common conditions of musculoskeletal-pain such as;
- Bone pain: Feeling of bone pain is generally deep and penetrating. The causes of bone pain may include bone infection (osteomyelitis), hormone disorders, tumors, Injuries such as bone fractures or other musculoskeletal injuries that cause bone pain.
- Muscle pain: The causes of muscle pain such as cramps, muscle spasms, injuries, Some infections, tumors may also lead to muscle pain. Muscle pain is generally less intense than bone pain. Polymyalgia rheumatica is also a type of disorder that causes severe pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, upper and lower back, and hips.
- Tendon and ligament pain: Tendon and ligament pain is generally less intense than bone pain. It is frequently sharp in nature and gets worse with time. Tissues that connect your joints and bones are known as Ligaments and tendons and sprains, strains and overstress on it, can lead pain. Common causes of tendon pain such as tenosynovitis, tendonitis, lateral epicondylitis or medial epicondylitis and tendon injuries.
- Bursae pain; Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that provide a protective cushion around joints and this type of pain can be caused by trauma, overuse, gout, or infection. Usually, this kind of pain worsens with time and the affected area by bursa may swell.
- Joint pain; general causes of joint pains are stiffness and inflammation. Joint pain may or may not be related to joint inflammation called arthritis. The various causes of arthritis disorder including inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, infectious arthritis, gout and injuries affecting the part of a bone inside a joint. Arthritic pain can be acute when caused by infections, injuries, or gout, or can be chronic when caused by rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
- Fibromyalgia; In fibromyalgia, pain is generally felt tenderness in multiple locations and may be difficult to describe exactly but is usually not coming from the joints, it may cause pain in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Symptoms of this such as fatigue and poor sleep.
- Nerve pain; The musculoskeletal disorders may also cause pain by compressing nerves. You might have a burning or stinging sensation that may be isolated or may spread to other parts of the body and this may lead to loss of strength, coordination, or sensation. Nerve pain tends to diverge along the path of the nerve and shows burning, tingling, numbness, or both.
General symptoms of musculoskeletal-pain;
Symptoms may vary person to person depending on the cause of your musculoskeletal pain, some of common such as;
- Fever and chills
- Redness in the infected area
- Irritability or generally feeling unwell
- Swelling in the affected area
- Drainage from the area
- Stiffness or inability to use an affected limbFatigue.
- Muscle twitches.
- Pain that worsens with movement.
- Sleep disturbances.
- Aching and stiffness.
- Burning sensations in the muscles.
Diagnosis and test required for musculoskeletal pain
Your doctor starts a diagnosis with your symptoms or by your medical history and medical conditions or by conducting some tests such as; Blood tests, computed tomography(ct) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (mri) or x-ray. Your doctor may recommend some pain reliever such as soma 500mg may be used for moderate or severe pain but they don’t cure the underlying condition.
Can I treat musculoskeletal pain at home;
Some of the common treatments for musculoskeletal-pain include:
- Chiropractic adjustment
- Steroid injections
- Occupational therapy.
- Pain relievers.
- Physical therapy.
- Therapeutic massage.
- Hot and cold therapy.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers.
- Strengthening and conditioning exercises.
- Stretching exercises.
- Stress reduction techniques.