Osteo-articular and muscular problems, characterised by more or less intense pain, rigidity and difficulty of movement, represent the most frequent reason for patients consulting their family doctor. In fact, about 30 – 40% of complaints regard acute pain, mostly involving the back, neck, shoulders, and can be the consequence of a trauma or muscle fatigue (often related to a sports or work activity or resulting from bad posture).
It is estimated that 5,5 million people in Italy are affected by chronic-developing osteo-articular and/or muscular diseases. In both cases a high tendency to use anti-inflammatory synthetic medicines has been recorded, involving heavy consequences for patients’ health: the longer the period of intake, the more disastrous the negative impact. Here follows a brief overview of the most common muscular and osteo-articular pathologies.
THE MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS
MUSCLES, LIMBS, TENDINS
CONTRACTURES (e.g. lumbago, neck pain, stiff neck, etc.)
EPICONDILYTIS (tennis elbow)
Acute, intense pain
Strong difficulty in movement
Normally short to medium course of illness
Once the acute phase has been overcome, chronicity can arise if causes and predisposing factors are eliminated.
ARTHROSIS (gonarthrosis, hand arthrosis, hip joint arthrosis, etc.)
Invalidating, chronic pain
Normally long course of illness.
In most cases, these pathologies lead to chronicity and functional alternations. Among the painful pathologies affecting the musculoskeletal system, characterized by persistent, invalidating pain: lumbar and sciatic pain and carpal tunnel syndrome, extremely painful disorders due to inflammation of the nerves (sciatic nerve and median nerve, respectively).