According to WHO, musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs are the second largest contributors to disabilities, affecting thousands of people each year. These are injuries or repetitive strain of the musculoskeletal system that impact the body’s functional movements. These include injuries of the ligaments, soft tissue, cartilage, muscles, tendons, and nerves.
What Causes MSDs?
Your chances of having a musculoskeletal disorder depend on:
- Age:The older you are, the more at risk you are for developing an MSD.
- Occupation:The type of work you do on a daily basis (e.g. lifting heavy objects, sitting with an awkward posture) affects your chances of getting an MSD.
- Lifestyle:Individuals who stay physically active and perform stretching are less likely to have an MSD.
- Family history:Genetics also influence the likeliness of developing an MSD.
- Repetitive motions: Performing repetitive movements can cause muscle stress, making you more susceptible to an MSD.
Symptoms & Signs to Watch Out For
So, how can you tell if you may have a musculoskeletal disorder? Well, for starters, you’ll notice a loss of muscle function, decreased range of motion, and less strength. In addition to these, common MSD symptoms include:
- Sore/stiff joints
- Swelling or inflammation
- Muscle pain and stiffness
- Shooting or stabbing pain in the limbs
- Numbness or tinglingin the limbs
- Neck or lower back pain
Common types of MSDs
While there are several different types of musculoskeletal disorders, the most common ones include:
Rotator cuff tendonitis: This is a disorder of the shoulder joint, affecting the rotator cuff tendons. A tear in the rotator cuff tendons restricts a person’s ability to move their arm, causing excruciating pain and discomfort when they do so.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS): CTS affects the median nerve and is caused by a number of factors, including frequent or severe pressure exerted on the wrist or hand. This can result in numbness/tingling of the fingers or restricted thumb movement. Moreover, it can also limit the mobility of the first three fingers.
Osteoarthritis: This degenerative condition affects several regions of the body, including the knees, wrists, shoulders, hips, and elbows. Affecting more than 4.8 million individuals globally, the condition causes significant pain resulting from the degeneration of cartilage.
How Can MSDs Be Treated?
The good news is treating musculoskeletal disorders is possible through the right procedures. While conventional medicine has focused on surgery, physiotherapy, and medication, there exists another, more effective method for healing musculoskeletal conditions.
Stem cell therapy has been found to be extremely beneficial for treating musculoskeletal disorders. The minimally invasive procedure involves injecting autologous stem cells taken from the patient’s blood plasma, bone marrow, or adipose tissue, at the relevant site. Not only is this a safe and painless form of treatment, it also involves little to no downtime and provides immense relief from the painful symptoms within a few days or weeks after treatment.
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