Our Musculoskeletal Care Services Include:
“The hallmark features of a musculoskeletal issue are pain and disability. If you have neck pain, back pain or hip pain caused by arthritis or another condition, you are likely to have intermittent or constant pain and a reduced ability to perform certain activities. While some musculoskeletal problems are due to aging or injury, others are due to immunological problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis. If you suffer from pain requiring musculoskeletal care, make an appointment to come in and see us. We can help you to manage your pain and return to your usual routine as quickly as possible”.
What is musculoskeletal care?
The musculoskeletal system is made up of bones, muscles, joints, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. All of these components work together to give us the ability to move our bodies in a variety of ways. A problem with any of these structures can result in pain, limited mobility, swelling, redness and other symptoms. Generally pain is the largest feature of any problem involving the musculoskeletal system and will be the symptom that results in you making an appointment with us! Musculoskeletal care is care of any of these structures or parts.
How the musculoskeletal system works
It’s important to understand how the different parts of this system work together before we can understand how certain conditions can affect this system.
- Bones (adults have 206 bones in total) provide support and shape to our bodies, and they also protect vital organs. In addition, bones produce certain blood components and store important minerals, including calcium and phosphorus.
- Muscles are attached to bones and are arranged in opposing groups around our joints, which allows us the freedom of movement in different directions at the joints (unless we have joint disease). Our muscles are controlled by nerves, which are in turn controlled by our nervous system.
- Tendons connect muscles to bones and are composed of tough bands of connective tissue. Tendons are attached to bones ; as we contract our muscles, the tendons transmit this force to the bone and pull on the bone, causing it to move. Tendons are quite stretchy, which allows them to act as a spring during movement, which in turn helps us to save energy. Although tendons are stretchy, they have limits- exceed this limit and the tendon can be damaged.
- Ligaments act as the connection point between bones- they join bones together to form a joint. Ligaments act to prevent bones from moving too far out of alignment (dislocating) or breaking. Made of a dense elastic tissue, they can stretch substantially- again, if they are stretched too far, they can be damaged, resulting in an “unstable” joint, or one that is prone to partial or total dislocation.
- Cartilage is a flexible connective tissue found all over our bodies. Cartilage acts as a shock absorber in our spine between the intervertebral discs and between the bones that make up our joints. Cartilage does not contain blood vessels. Because its blood supply is limited, cartilage cannot regenerate easily. Arthritis is a result of a wearing out of the cartilage, resulting in a loss of cushion between the bones of joints such as the hips and knees.
- Bursa are small fluid-filled sacs that cushion joints and can be found around almost every major joint in our bodies. Sometimes a bursa can become inflamed, causing a condition known as bursitis, which cause pain, swelling and limited movement of the affected joint.
What conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system can you treat?
We are physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians. We are able to manage a large number of musculoskeletal conditions, including:
- low back pain
- neck pain
- hip and knee pain
- sprains and strains
What Can I expect when I come to see you?
If you come to see us in the clinic requiring musculoskeletal care, chances are you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
- decreased range of motion
- numbness or tingling
- muscle weakness
- loss of function
First of all, we will want you to tell us about your symptoms, including when they began, what makes them worse or better, what precipitated your symptoms (if you know), what you have tried and whether any self-help measures helped at all. We will also ask about your medical history, your family history, what medications you are taking (including herbal and over-the-counter remedies) and whether you have any allergies.
Once we have a good understanding of your health status and what brought you to see us, we will examine the affected area. We may ask you to change into a gown to allow us to better visualize the affected area, and to allow you to move freely without restriction. We may perform various maneuvers to try to duplicate the pain you are experiencing- do let us know if the pain is severe! We will explain what we are doing and why we are doing it as we go along. We will be looking for reduced movement/stiffness, pain, redness, swelling and other signs and symptoms that may provide clues as to what the problem is.
Once we have examined you and gathered your history, we might order diagnostic tests, such as blood work, x-rays or other tests. If we decide to order any tests, we will tell you what the test is looking for and why we feel it is necessary. Once your test results are available, we will discuss the findings with you. We may prescribe rest, medications such as pain relievers or anti-inflammatories, or other treatments. Again, we will explain any treatments to you and what we hope we can accomplish with treatment. We may also request that you come in again for follow-up. If we think you may have a problem that is beyond the scope of our practice, we will refer you to a specialist.
If you are suffering from musculoskeletal pain or disability, make an appointment to come in and see us. We will ensure you get the right diagnosis and the right treatment.