The Main Causes of Musculoskeletal Pain

The Main Causes of Musculoskeletal Pain

Musculoskeletal pain, along with all its associated disorders, is one of the main causes of disability in people, not only in the elderly, but also in youth.

These disorders significantly affect different parts of the body, such as the muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons. And they suppose, in many cases, a partial or total decrease in the mobility of the body or a part of it.

In this way the person is affected, not only in his physical part, but also in his emotional and psychic part, since his social life diminishes or is greatly modified.

As already mentioned, the pain associated with musculoskeletal disorders, in many cases, limits the mobility and functional capacity of the individual, therefore he will not be able to work, study or carry out his daily activities normally. Becoming then, this type of disorders, a real ordeal for those who suffer from it.

Musculoskeletal pain appears at any time in a person’s life, but the trend is that as the aging process occurs, these disorders are intensifying, product of the same natural and degenerative evolution of the body. In addition, usually in the elderly, these disorders are increased by the presence of other pathologies in their body.

Musculoskeletal disorders can affect the joints, manifesting as arthritis, osteoarthritis, spondylitis, among others. They can also affect bone structures, such as osteopenia, osteoporosis, or fractures induced by weakening of the bones. Similarly, other areas of the body are affected, such as muscles, spine and connective tissues.

Due to the aforementioned, musculoskeletal disorders can be classified according to the causes or the reasons that produce it. In this sense, we can say that there are degenerative arthropathies such as osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthropathies such as bursitis, metabolic arthropathies such as gout, bone diseases such as osteoporosis, soft tissue diseases such as fibromyalgia, and connective tissue diseases such as vasculitis.

In line with the above, we can say that the causes of musculoskeletal pain are very varied, and among them we can mention joint, bone and muscle disorders, as well as tendon or ligament injuries, and in the worst case, a combination of these. Next we will talk a little about each of them.

Muscle pain

This type of pain is very common, and occurs when muscle tissue is affected by an event that causes injury or a decrease in blood supply. In general, the muscles of the body can be affected in many ways and by unbalancing their normal operating condition, they offer a painful response.

Pain relief, otherwise called alivio del dolor in Spanish, can occur from bumps, bruises, overwork or over exertion of the muscle, decreased circulatory function, and bacterial or viral infections. A classic example of this type of pain is “Polymyalgia Rheumatica”, which causes stiffness in the shoulders and hips, caused by an inflammatory process and which is accompanied by a lot of pain.

Bone Pain

This type of pain is much more intense than muscle pain and is usually caused by trauma, such as blows, bruises, or fractures. In addition to this, it can also occur from bone infections such as “Osteomyelitis” and certain metabolic endocrine diseases.

Ligament pain

This type of pain is much less intense than bone pain, but it is also very bothersome. Many people who have suffered it manifest as if something cut them, and its magnitude increases when the ligament undergoes movement.

One of the most common causes of ligament pain is “tendinitis” that causes inflammation in the tendons. In addition to this, we also have “lateral epicondylitis”, called by some as “tennis elbow”, and in it there is an inflammation of the tissues that connect the muscle of the forearm with the elbow.

Another very common cause of ligament pain is that caused by trauma, as in the case of sprains. In these injuries, a stretch, tear of the tissue that joins the bones and joints occurs, producing a bruise and inflammation that occurs with pain.

Finally, we can mention “Tenosynovitis”, which is defined as the inflammation of the lining that covers the tendons, where the muscles connect with the bone. It usually occurs in the feet and hands and is generated by repetitive action or movement or a possible infection, causing severe pain and great difficulty in making movement of the involved area.

Joint Pain

This type of pain is also called “arthralgia”, and can be caused, among other things, by “rheumatoid arthritis”, which is defined as a chronic inflammatory disease that affects various joints of the body, such as that of the hands and feet. In this disease, the person’s own immune system attacks the joints along with all the elements that compose it, causing inflammation and intense pain.

Another common cause of joint pain is “Osteoarthritis”, in which a pronounced wear of the tissues that cover the end of the bones occurs, causing much pain and immobilization of the person.

In addition to these conditions, there are others such as “Gout” that also generate joint pain. In this case, inflammation occurs in the joints, product of the excessive accumulation of uric acid in the form of crystals that the body has not been able to eliminate. This causes sharp pain accompanied by redness and increased sensitivity of the affected area.

Now we can mention fibromyalgia, considered as a rheumatic disease, characterized by musculoskeletal pain in general and that is accompanied by tiredness, chronic fatigue and problems falling asleep.

Pain in Synovial Bags

This type of pain can be caused by traumatic or infectious processes, which compromise structures filled with synovial fluid that offer protection to the joints, causing inflammation and pain with movement.

Risk factors

Among the causes of musculoskeletal pain there are certain risk factors that can increase the chances of presenting this type of disorder, and among them we can mention, at age, gender, eating habits, overweight and obesity, sedentary lifestyle, alcohol, drugs, tobacco and work.

All these factors can directly affect the appearance or intensity and chronicity of musculoskeletal disorders and the painful and inflammatory processes that precede them.