Diseases and Conditions: Musculoskeletal Pain

What is musculoskeletal pain?

Musculoskeletal pain affects the:

  • Bones
  • Muscles
  • Ligaments
  • Tendons
  • Nerves

Pain can be acute or chronic depending on what area it is in and how long the pain lasts. The most common type of musculoskeletal pain is often located in the lower back but other common types include tendinitis, myalgia and stress fractures.

What are the causes?

Anyone can experience this type of pain but it is most often caused by an injury to the bones but it can be the results of pain from the previous mentioned.

Musculoskeletal pain can be caused by overuse and depending on whether it is acute or chronic. The symptoms can really vary from person to person.

Very common symptoms include:

  • Widespread pain
  • Localised pain
  • Aching
  • Feeling as though your muscles have been pulled
  • Tiredness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Twitching muscles
  • Feeling as though your muscles are burning

Different types of musculoskeletal pain:

The pain has various symptoms and causes, but some of more common types of pain includes:

Bone pain: The pain is usually a bit more severe than just normal pain. You will usually know the difference between just normal aches and pains and bone pain.

Muscle pain: Muscle pain is usually a lot less intense than bone pain, but it can still be incapacitating. Muscle pain can be caused by an injury, a reaction of the immune, loss of blood flow to your muscles, an infection or even a tumour. The pain can also cause muscle spasms and painful cramps.

Tendon and ligament pain: This type of condition is often caused by sprains and injuries that may be worsened if stretched or moved.

Joint pain: Joint injuries often causes a stiff aching type of pain. It can really range from mild to severe, but often gets worse with movement. The joints may swell and arthritis is often a common cause by overuse.

How is musculoskeletal pain diagnosed and treated?

You doctor or Frimley private healthcare professional will be able to conduct a detailed medial history and ask you a range of questions about injuries you may have obtained in the past that may have caused the pain. The pain is then treated by treating its cause. This really depends on what type of pain you are experiencing, but treatment includes:

  • Physical therapy
  • Using a splint
  • Using heat or cold
  • Reducing workload
  • Reducing stress
  • Injections
  • Exercises
  • Massage

You doctor will be able to recommend the best treatment if necessary.

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Shingles Vaccines

What is Shingles?

Shingles, medically know as herpes zoster, is an infection of the nerves and the skin around it. It is caused by the chickenpox virus and usually affects a specific area on one side of the body and doesn’t actually cross over the middle of the body.

The main symptoms that come with shingles is a painful rash that often develops into itchy blisters. Shingles usually last for a few weeks. The virus can make everyday tasks difficult and is often more common in older people. Luckily a vaccine is available that will reduce the risk of shingles.

Do you need the Shingles Vaccine?

The vaccine to prevent shingles is often recommended for everyone who is over the age of 50. It is often a one shot vaccine and is available through different clinics like Park Health. Even if you have suffered from the virus in the past you can still get the vaccine but you usually have to wait for up to a year after the last episode in order to get the vaccine.

Are there any risks involved in getting the vaccine?

Shingles is not actually life threatening but it can be very painful and draining. Even when the rash goes you can still be left with pain in the section of the body. It can be set off by trivial everyday activities but overall the vaccine is very safe and only if you have a compromised immune system should you have a reason not to get the vaccine.

Who shouldn’t be getting the vaccine?

As well as those with a weakened immune system you also should not get the vaccine if you have a serious allergic reaction to substances in the vaccine. Your GP or health experts in the private healthcare Frimley sector will be able to advise you on whether you are suitable for the vaccine.

There are not usually any side effect that come with the vaccine but commonly there can be redness, pain and tenderness after you have the vaccine.

In very rare cases, some people can develop very severe allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis (more commonly known as swelling of the face). If you get any of these symptoms you should seek medical advice straight away.

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