Aches and sores could point to musculoskeletal problems that are a lot more serious than you think. Pain tells us that something is wrong with our body. However, did you know that pain is the most common symptom of musculoskeletal problems?
WHAT IS THE MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM?
The musculoskeletal system consists of a major component: Muscles. They protect our organs, and help us to move and mobilise our bodies, but they are often a major cause of pain. If the underlying joints are injured, the surrounding muscles are often tight, or in a spasm. In cases of spinal degeneration or a spinal disc prolapse, it results in tight back muscles, which protect the body by preventing excessive movement, and to keep the back in a comfortable position – although some pain can still be felt.
Muscle tightness that is not addressed over time often prolongs the patient’s disability. Even when the underlying injury has stabilised or become less acute, the muscles often remain stiff and worse, cause localised areas of extreme tightness, tenderness, and hypersensitivity. These areas are called trigger points, which often radiate pain to surrounding areas, even reaching the limbs. This is seen in cases of chronic neck pain caused by spinal degeneration, which is common among older people. Trigger points can be easily identified and localised as they are very tender and often feel like muscle knots.
TREATING MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN
If these trigger points can be identified, released, and treated, one will be able to move around and function normally. The most effective and fastest way to release a trigger point is to inject a combination of a hydrocortisone derivative and a long-acting anaesthetic drug into it. The injection alone will release the point, but the medication takes it one step further and gives a sustained release, which reduces the pain dramatically and quickly. In order for the treatment to be effective, factors like injection depth, amount of medication, and how to inject along the fibres of the muscles will need to be considered.
Thomson Musculoskeletal Clinic