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Common Musculoskeletal Disorders Affecting Americans

Musculoskeletal DisordersMusculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are quite common among Americans and contribute to 30% of workers’ compensation costs. A major reason for this is that many MSDs are work-induced. MSDs are injuries or diseases affecting the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and joints of the body that make up the body’s musculoskeletal system. With many of these disorders, prevention is always better than the cure. If you are in Brooklyn, NYC you have treatment options including non-surgical methods such as chiropractic manipulation, physical therapy, and NSAIDs medications among others.

Here are some of the common musculoskeletal disorders affecting Americans:

Joints

  • Knee Pain (ACL Tear, MCL Tear): The knee, being one of the most used joints of the body, is prone to strain and overuse. This could cause injury resulting in pain. There are other conditions too, such as arthritis and degenerative disc disease, which could cause knee pain. ACL tear and MCL tear are two ligament injuries in the knee causing debilitating pain. These are most likely to affect athletes or excessively active individuals.
  • Neck Pain: Neck pain is most commonly caused by wrong posture at work as well as arthritis due to wear and tear. There could also be more serious causes such as degenerative disc disease, whiplash, pinched nerve and herniated disc.
  • Tennis Elbow: Tennis elbow, also called lateral epicondylitis, refers to inflammation affecting the elbow’s outside portion where the tendons join the elbow bone. This is usually the result of overuse or repetitive movements of the hand.
  • Golfer’s Elbow: This is quite the opposite of tennis elbow, wherein the inside of the elbow is inflamed due to a different kind of repetitive movements performed by the hand, particularly of the kind common in golf.
  • Shoulder Dislocation: A shoulder dislocation is the top arm slipping from the shoulder socket. The immense flexibility of the shoulder makes it the most dislocation prone joint in the body. Dislocation can occur as a result of falls, blows to the shoulder, or an extended throwing action of the arm.
  • Rotator Cuff Tear: This refers to a tear in the rotator cuff, which is a major tendon in the shoulder that helps keep the shoulder ball in place and gives the arm the flexibility to rotate. Four muscles make up the rotator cuff. A tear could affect movement of the arm and cause debilitating pain, depending on the severity of the injury.
  • Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis): Plantar fasciitis is one of most common causes of heel pain. Overexertion such as too much jumping or running on shoes with hard soles on hard ground could result in the inflammation of the plantar fascia which is a tissue band running from the heel band to the toe base.

Back and Hips

  • Lower Back Pain: Lower back pain affects many people. It can be due to many reasons most of which are not very serious, though the pain could be debilitating. It could be the result of strain in the muscles or tendons of the back, irritation of the nerve roots or nerves originating in the region or spinal disc issues. Some of these are caused by wear and tear and wrong posture while the other factors could be the result of accident.
  • Hip Pain: Hip pain can be caused due to various factors including arthritis, hip fracture, muscle strain and tendonitis.

Nerve Compression

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: This disorder is the result of excessive pressure exerted on the median nerve that passes through the wrist. Symptoms include pain, tingling and numbing sensation experienced in the hand particularly when moving the fingers.
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome: This is caused by excessive pressure exerted on the ulnar nerve which travels through funny bone of the elbow near the surface of the skin. It causes numbness and pain in the elbow as well as a tingling sensation in the little fingers and the ring finger.
  • Radial Tunnel Syndrome: This disorder is caused by excessive pressure exerted on the radial nerve which travels by the muscles and bones of the elbow and forearm. The symptoms include a stabbing or piercing pain felt in the forearm at the top or at the back, particularly when straightening your fingers and wrist.

Spinal

  • Disc Herniation: A herniated disc, also called ruptured disc or slipped disc, occurs when the jelly-like nucleus of one of the discs of the spine leaks out through a tear in the outer ring, exerting pressure on the nearby nerves resulting in pain or numbness in one of the arms or legs.
  • Spinal Stenosis: Spinal stenosis refers to the spinal canal narrowing in the lower back region. It happens when the vertebrae exert pressure on the spinal cord or the nerves exiting it. It causes pain in the lower back.
  • Sciatica: Sciatica is pain originating through the sciatic nerve extending from the pelvis through the back part of the thigh. This usually results in low back pain that is sometimes debilitating and could spread to the buttocks and through the leg of the affected side.

A good pain management center in New York City would have a team of physical therapists, chiropractors, pain management specialists, neurologists and orthopedists to provide the right treatment for musculoskeletal disorders. In the case of preventable, work-induced MSDs, the right posture does help in preventing your body from being stressed too much.

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