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CLINICAL MANIFESTATIONS OF MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM

 

The Musculo-Skeletal system provides, not only strength to support the body and protect the vital organs but also flexibility to permit a wide range of movement at the joints. A normal joint can be compared to a well-oiled machine. It is a neatly integrated cushion system for the body. Inside its fibrous capsule, the synovial membrane exudes a fluid to nourish and lubricate the cartilage. Together, cartilage membrane and fluid absorb shocks and prevent friction.

 

INFLAMMATION OF THE JOINTS is known as ARTHRITIS. This term is frequently used to indicate any disease involving pain or stiffness of the musculoskeletal system and is generally considered synonymous with rheumatism. The term RHEUMATIC DISEASES is a broader term, referring to a condition in which there are changes in connective tissue including muscle, tendon, bursae, joints and fibrous tissue.Nonetheless, whichever part of the joint system is affected the symptoms commonly experienced are:

 

PAIN : Bone pain is continuous, aching and sharp but that arising in the joints is related to posture or to movement and is accompanied by STIFFNESS. Pain in the limb joints is well localized but in the vertebral column degenerative changes cause localized as well as referred pain i.e. by pressure on the nerve roots giving rise to problems like SCIATICA.

 

IMPAIRED MOVEMENT : Pain and stiffness limit movement. In Rheumatoid arthritis stiffness is noted on first awakening in the morning and may improve as the day progresses. In Osteoarthritis, movement is restricted when the joints are used after a period of immobility.

 

ASSOCIATED SYMPTOMS : Fever, sweating, skin eruptions etc.

 

Rheumatism is divided in 2 major groups:

 

  • ARTICULAR RHEUMATISM (ARTHRITIS) mainly affects the various joints.

  • NON-ARTICULAR RHEUMATISM mainly affects the various muscles, ligaments, tendons etc...

OSTEOARHTRITES

 

Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease which causes deterioration of the joint cartilage and the formation of new bone (bone spurs) at the margin of the joints.

 

Clinical features

 

  • Joint pain - worse after exercise or at the end of day

  • Pain relieved by rest

  • Early morning stiffness

  • Stiffness after rest

  • Bony joint swelling

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