Articular and muscular pain

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The main symptom used for recognising any locomotor system complaints is pain. Visits to the doctor for articular and muscular pain are increasingly common as a result of more and more people doing sports, particularly when they are not used to doing exercise. On the other hand, our present lifestyle, even at work, leads to a number of articular and muscular injuries due to overload.

Lower back pain

Lower back pain is defined as pain located in the lumbar region or at base of the spine. It is a very frequent disorder with around 60% to 80% of the general population suffering from it throughout life. Lower back pain is also the first cause of morbidity in people younger than 50 and the third cause in people over 50.

The origin of lower back pain can be due to very different reasons: traumatic, such as muscle contractures, bone fractures, sprains and similar injuries; congenital, such as degenerative spinal abnormalities (e.g. disc herniations); metabolic, such as osteoporosis; or inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Cervical pain

The cervical region has a lot of pain-sensitive tissue in a relatively small and compact area. Pain can be caused by an irritation, injury, inflammation or infection of almost any of the existing tissues. Cervical pain or cervicalgia is a symptom suffered by a significant percentage of the population, with a higher prevalence in middle-aged individuals. About two thirds of the population will experience cervical pain at some point in their life.

The causes of cervical pain can be highly varied: bad postures, anxiety or depression, muscle tension, sports or work-related injuries, arthritis or trauma, etc.

What is Arthralgia?

Articular pain or arthralgia refers to pain in a joint, i.e., in the structure binding two bones, formed by the capsule, ligaments, synovial membrane and joint cartilage. Any disorder in any of these elements may cause pain in the joints. There are multiple causes of articular pain, including injuries such as bursitis, sprains, and dislocations and subdislocations, but also rheumatic diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout.

Bursitis

A frequent injury among sportspersons is bursitis, or an inflammation of the fluid pocket located in the areas of friction between body tissue, predominantly between bones and muscles or tendons. The most frequent bursitis among sportspersons are the ones concerning the elbows, knees and shoulders.

Sprains

A sprain is an injury to the ligament (a structure that connects two or more bones in a joint) which happens when the ligament is stretched or broken.

The most common sprains are ankle sprains, but wrist sprains can also occur from falling on the hand, or thumb sprains in some sports activities, such as skiing.

Sprains have many different causes. Some falls, twists, or blows can displace the joint from its normal position, stretching or tearing the ligaments that hold the joint in place.

Dislocations and subdislocations

After fractures, dislocations and subdislocations are the second leading cause of sports disabilities. Subdislocations are partial dislocations in which there is an incomplete separation between the two bones that make up the joint. With dislocations there is full separation.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a chronic inflammatory articular disease causing structural alterations in hyaline joint cartilage and sclerosis (hardening) of the subchondral bone. It affects 10% of the population and it is more common in later years. It represents around a quarter of the visits to the rheumatologist.

It is multifactorial in origin, with localised symptoms in the affected joints. The most prominent and bothersome symptom is pain, which generally worsens with activity and improves with rest. Joint stiffness is also frequent, which actually tends to appear after resting. Other symptoms such as clicking sounds during movement, occasional inflammation, joint deformity, or associated muscle atrophy may appear.

Osteoarthritis treatment is aimed at reducing pain and inflammation, improving functionality and preventing joint deformities.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that affects the connective tissue. It produces chronic synovitis affecting the peripheral joints. Its cause is unknown and significant immunological alterations have been found. Its clinical symptoms are slow, with stiffness appearing more often than not in the joints on the hands. Analgesic treatment is very important, as well as the use of disease modifying drugs.

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