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Joint, tendon, and muscle pain

Related Terms

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Background

  • The musculoskeletal system includes bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, and bursae (fluid-filled sacs). Any of these components can be injured by trauma or affected by a number of diseases causing joint, tendon, and muscle problems.
  • Bodily movement is made possible by the interaction of the muscular and skeletal systems; for this reason, they are often grouped together as the musculoskeletal system. The skeletal system serves many important functions, including providing the structure for the body. The skeletal system comprises 206 bones that form a rigid framework. Muscles are connected to bones by tendons. Tendons are tough yet flexible bands of fibrous tissue. Bones are connected to each other by ligaments. Ligaments are fibrous bands or sheets of connective tissue linking two or more bones, cartilages, or structures together. Where bones meet one another is called a joint. Muscles that cause movement of a joint are connected to two different bones.
  • The muscles contract (get shorter) and relax (get longer) to cause movement. An example would be the contraction of the biceps (a muscle located on the front of the upper arm) and a relaxation of the triceps (a muscle located on the back of the upper arm). This produces a bend at the elbow. The contraction of the triceps and relaxation of the biceps produces the effect of straightening the arm.
  • Common symptoms of joint, tendon, and muscle problems include inflammation, pain, weakness, stiffness, joint noises, and decreased range of motion. Inflammation can result from many conditions, including musculoskeletal disorders, autoimmune disorders, obesity, and infections. When inflammation occurs in a joint, fluid may accumulate inside the joint, causing swelling and decreased range of motion.

Causes and Risk Factors

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Signs and Symptoms

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Complications

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Integrative Therapies

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Prevention

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.