Definition of musculoskeletal disorders
Musculoskeletal disorders are conditions that interfere with the function of joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and tendons, as well as the spine. Your musculoskeletal system involves the structures that support your limbs, neck, and back.
Musculoskeletal disorders are often degenerative diseases, diseases that cause your body’s tissues to deteriorate over time.
This can cause pain and reduce your ability to move, which can prevent you from carrying out your usual daily activities.
Musculoskeletal disorders can affect any area of the body. The main parts include the neck, shoulders, wrists, back, hips, knees, and feet.
Symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders
Musculoskeletal disorders can cause inflammation in many different parts of the body. If you have a musculoskeletal disorder, you may feel pain all over your body.
You may feel your muscles heat up or twitch as if they are being pulled. Symptoms will vary from person to person, but common signs and symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders include:
- Pain or aches
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Sleep disturbances
- Poor posture
- Inflammation, swelling, redness
- Decreased range of motion
- Loss of function
- Numbness or stiffness
Muscle weakness or decreased grip strength.
If you have any questions about your symptoms or have any concerns, contact your doctor for more information.
Causes & risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders
Since the musculoskeletal covers, many parts of the body, the causes of this disorder vary widely. The exact cause of musculoskeletal disorders depends on:
- Age, the elderly tend to experience musculoskeletal pain from damaged body cells
- Type of work or profession
- The intensity inactivity
- Bad posture habits
- Too passive in doing physical activity
- Injury or trauma to a body part caused by a sudden movement
- A car or motorcycle accident
Who is at risk for musculoskeletal disorders?
Musculoskeletal disorders occur when you overuse or abuse a group of muscles or bones for a long time without resting.
There are several things that may increase your risk of developing this movement system disorder, including:
- Bend or crouch
- Lifting heavy objects
- Pushing or pulling heavy objects
- Overstretching muscles
- Trying to reach something that is far away
- The movement is repeated using the same limb over and over again
- Doing physical work for too long
- Drive heavy vehicles, travel long distances or drive on rough roads
Not only physical activity, but it also turns out that stress and too much thought can cause musculoskeletal disorders.
Certain health conditions
If you have an illness, certain health problems, or have recently been injured, you may have a muscle disorder.
Not only that, but pregnancy also increases your risk of experiencing it. In fact, when you feel tired and unfit, it is easier to experience movement disorders than when you are in a healthy and fit condition.
How to diagnose musculoskeletal disorders
To diagnose a musculoskeletal disorder, your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination and medical history to determine the exact cause of your pain.
Your doctor may test the muscles and joints for:
- Weakness or degeneration
- Any twitch that can indicate nerve damage
- Swelling or redness
In addition, depending on the specific disorder, the doctor may perform imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis. They may take X-rays to look at the bones, or blood tests for rheumatic diseases.
Musculoskeletal disorders affecting the bones
Diseases, disorders, or problems in the bones that interfere with their function in the movement system are included as musculoskeletal disorders. The following are the types of skeletal system disorders in the form of diseases, disorders, and bone health problems, including:
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when there is bone loss in the body. This causes the bones to become weak and break easily. In fact, in moderately broken cases, bones can be broken just because of a sneeze or a small impact.
Although osteoporosis is not caused by age, this condition is more prone to be experienced by women in old age. However, this does not mean that this condition cannot be experienced by men or young people.
Fractures can be distinguished based on their severity. At a level that is still relatively mild, the bone may only experience a fracture. However, to a severe enough degree, the bone may break into two or more parts.
Fractures can occur at the same time as other health problems, such as sprains or dislocation of bones and joints.
Abnormalities in the spine are also included in musculoskeletal disorders. The hallmark of this spinal deformity is a problem with the curvature or position.
Types of spinal deformities include kyphosis (backward curvature of the spine), lordosis (backward curvature of the spine), and scoliosis (spine curvature to form an S).
There are also other spinal problems, such as spondylolisthesis, which is a condition that occurs when the spine shifts downwards. This causes the displaced bone to press on the nerves underneath and cause pain or tenderness.
Then, spondylosis is a problem of spinal degeneration. This spinal disease is divided into three types, namely lumbar spondylosis (degeneration that attacks the lower spinal discs), cervical spondylosis (degeneration that attacks the spinal discs in the neck area), and thoracic spondylosis (degeneration that attacks the joints in the spine in the neck area Chest).
Osteopenia is a musculoskeletal disorder that attacks the bones characterized by reduced bone density. This causes the bones to become more brittle.
This condition occurs when the bone’s need for calcium is not met. If you have osteopenia, your risk for bone loss is higher.
Osteomalacia is a musculoskeletal disorder that occurs when bones become more flexible and cannot harden, so they are often bent and prone to fracture. This condition usually occurs because the body lacks vitamin D.
If the condition is experienced in infancy, osteomalacia can cause a stooped posture or crooked bones as an adult. In addition, osteomalacia can also cause elderly people to be prone to fractures.
Paget’s disease of bone
Paget’s disease of bone interferes with the recycling of new bone tissue when replacing old bone tissue.
Over time, this disease can cause bones to become brittle. Usually, Paget’s disease of the bones affects the pelvis, skull, spine, and leg bones.
This musculoskeletal problem is characterized by the increased bone density that occurs due to problems with bone reabsorption by cells in the body known as osteoclasts.
This condition causes bones to become brittle and break easily. In certain conditions, osteopetrosis occurs together with abnormalities in the bone skeleton.
Achondroplasia is a musculoskeletal problem that inhibits the growth of cartilage into complete bone. Problems that attack these bones can cause complications such as respiratory problems, obesity, and ear infections.
This condition is characterized by a stunted body or dwarfism, limited elbow movement, a head size that is larger than normal, and finger sizes that are smaller than normal.
This musculoskeletal disorder is hereditary and appears from birth. If a child is born with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) they may have bones that break easily, bones that are not formed properly, and various other bone diseases.
Osteomyelitis is an infection that attacks the bone through the bloodstream or spreads from the tissue close to the bone. However, this infection can also come from the bone itself as a result of being contaminated by bacteria during an injury.
Musculoskeletal disorders that attack the joints
Problems and diseases that attack the joints are also part of musculoskeletal or movement system disorders. Here are some types of movement system disorders that attack the joints:
Arthritis is a disease that causes inflammation of the joints. This disease is divided into several types, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout or gout, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylosis.
Bursitis is a musculoskeletal disorder that affects the joints, specifically the bursae, which are part of the joint in the form of a sac that stores lubricating fluid. According to the National Health Service, this condition can cause pain or tenderness in the joints.
Tendinitis is a joint problem that affects the tendons, which are the links between bones and muscles. When experiencing it, the tendon will experience severe swelling.
Usually, this condition occurs after you have suffered the same injury over and over again in an area such as your wrist or foot. One of the symptoms of this joint problem can be pain and tenderness in the joint area.
Tendon injuries usually occur because the tendon is damaged by overuse or as part of the aging process. Usually, people who do the same movement over and over again have the potential to experience it.
Actually, this musculoskeletal disorder is almost the same as a tendon injury, but tennis elbow usually occurs in the joint in the elbow area when you overuse it as a result of repeated movements of the wrist or arm.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
This disease occurs due to pressure on your wrist. This can cause pain to numbness in the hands and fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome may occur when a joint in this area presses on the median nerve, causing pain.
Musculoskeletal disorders that attack the muscles
Considering that the musculoskeletal system includes the human muscular system, disorders of the movement system also include health problems, disorders, and various diseases of the muscles. Among others are:
Myalgia or muscle pain is a condition that occurs when the muscles are used too often to perform repetitive movements. Usually, this condition is experienced after you do strenuous work that requires you to do the same movement over and over again or intense exercise with the same movement.
Similar to Myalgia, fibromyalgia is muscle pain that appears all over the body at the same time. Usually, this condition is also accompanied by excessive tiredness, sleep disturbances, or a chaotic mood.
Muscle injuries, also known as sprains, are also one of the musculoskeletal disorders that interfere with the human muscular system.
Sprains can be distinguished by their location. For example, if the injury affects a tendon, it is called a muscle strain. Meanwhile, a sprain that attacks the ligaments is called a muscle sprain.
A Muscular dystrophy is a group of muscle diseases that cause gradual muscle weakness. This condition is caused by an abnormal gene that interferes with the production of proteins needed by healthy muscles.
This condition cannot be cured, but at least treatment and therapy can be done to overcome or relieve the existing symptoms.
This disease of the muscles is characterized by muscle weakness that makes it unusable. Muscle atrophy can be caused by too often muscle is not used, as in stroke patients. Then, malnutrition, use of drugs, to certain diseases can also be the cause.
Cramps and muscle spasms
Muscle cramps and spasms are almost the same muscle health problems. Muscle cramps and muscle spasms are conditions that occur when muscles contract suddenly and out of control. This condition can appear while you are sleeping at night so that you are awake.
If you experience it, the contracted muscle can’t be used or moved for a while until the condition improves on its own.
Medication & treatment of musculoskeletal disorders
Depending on the cause and severity of the pain, there are various treatments available for musculoskeletal disorders.
For pain that is classified as mild or appears occasionally, you can use over-the-counter pain relievers at pharmacies. For example, ibuprofen or paracetamol.
Meanwhile, drugs such as anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be used to treat inflammation and pain. For more severe pain, you may need stronger pain relievers, which will require a prescription from your doctor.
For work-related pain, physical therapy can help you avoid further damage, as well as control the pain. Manual therapy, or mobilization, may be used to treat problems with spinal alignment.
Other treatments may include:
- Relaxation techniques
- Injections with anesthetic or anti-inflammatory drugs
- Muscle strengthening and stretching exercises
- Chiropractic care
- Massage therapy
How to control musculoskeletal disorders?
You can control musculoskeletal disorders by managing your risk factors and preventing injury. Here are some tips that can help:
- Keep frequently used items close to you and easy to reach to avoid overstretching your arms
- Use assistive machines as much as possible, such as using a trolley when you want to shop in large quantities
- Take short breaks during activities that make you perform repetitive motions over the long term
- Use a soft chair when you have to sit for long periods of time
- Arrange objects on the table effectively when they want to work
- Use a headset or earphones when you want to communicate for a long time via mobile phones
- Limit lifting heavy weights