How to Manage Your Musculoskeletal Pain?

January 07, 2018   1584

Learn here how to manage your musculoskeletal pain.

How to Manage Your Musculoskeletal Pain

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Musculoskeletal pain occurs in the bones, tendons, nerves, ligaments and muscles. The common examples of this type of pain are stress fractures, fibromyalgia and lower back pain. You can have MP in one or more areas. Many people hurt their muscles or bones while performing routing activities involving lifting, playing and running. It is common as nearly as nearly 126.6 million Americans suffer from musculoskeletal condition. Or you can say that one in two persons in the USA has musculoskeletal condition. No wonder that its cost $213 billion in treatment, cost and lost wages.

Causes of Musculoskeletal Pain:

The pain occurs when you receive shock or injury to the bones, tendons, joints, nerves or muscles during jerking movements, accidents, falls, sprains, poor postures and prolonged immobilization fractures, dislocations and direct blows to the muscles. With excessive exploitation of the particular muscles, you may end up with musculoskeletal pain.

Symptoms of Musculoskeletal Pain:

Some of the common musculoskeletal pain signs are…

  • Pain tends to aggravate with movement
  • Experiencing stiffness or aching
  • Experience that your muscles have been pulled or overworked
  • Tiredness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Feeling burning sensation in muscles

However, the signs are vary from person to person and injury to injury.

What are the Types of Musculoskeletal Pain?

Musculoskeletal pain is categorised into various types given below.

  • Bone Pain:
  • Muscle Pain:
  • Tendon and Ligament Pain:
  • Fibromyalgia:
  • Joint Pain:
  • Tunnel Syndromes:

From manual therapy, mobilization, strengthening and stretching techniques, acupuncture, relaxation to a simple pain relieving ointment, there are many treatment options for musculoskeletal pain.

Self-Management of Musculoskeletal Pain


This is the first thing you can do to ease your pain. It not only relaxes the affected parts, but also speeds up the recovery time. Avoid using injured muscle as possible. Besides, avoid doing strenuous physical activity for the first 48-72 hours.


Applying ice pack to the place affected by musculoskeletal pain is a popular way to get relief. It not only minimizes the swelling and inflammation, but also lowers the flow of blood to the injury site. It is very easy to make. Just wrap some ice cubes in a towel. Afterwards, apply that on your affected area. Apply the pack for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time, and then remove it for at least 10 minutes before reapplying. However, avoid applying the ice pack directly to the skin as it may lead to a cold burn. If ice is not available, you can try a bag of frozen vegetable or other packaged food items from the freezer.

Reducing swelling with Compressive/Elevation:

Compression therapy with elevation during rest is also useful for musculoskeletal pain. Compression therapy is a wrapping of an elastic bandage around the injury to minimize blood flow which in turn reduces swelling. You can also raise limb to further minimize blood flow and prevent swelling. Just prop the limb up on a pillow while sitting or reclining. Make sure to wrap the injury lightly to avoid the excessive restriction of blood flow.


Counted among efficient forms of alternative medicine, acupuncture involves insertion of thin needles into key points on the body. It is said to be a technique for balance the energy flow termed as chi (CHEE). This force is said to flow through various pathways of the body.

Take Medicine to Manage Pain:

If muscle injury is too painful, you can take acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen. These medications will ease inflammation and help with mobility. Make sure to follow the instructions given on the label, or talk to your physician about the dose to be taken. Aspirin shouldn’t be given to the kids or teens unless it is recommended by the kid’s doctor.

Use Heat Therapy:

Heat is a popular therapy to ease sore muscles. It incorporates various methods like heating pad, warming gel pack or submersion in a hot bath. It is works as heat promotes blood flow to the sore muscles which in turn promotes healing and rebuilding of the muscles.

However, you should not apply heat to a swollen or inflamed muscle. You should also avoid heat therapy if you are diabetic or have poor circulation in your body.

Try a Numbing Cream:

Sometime the pain is too severe that you look for a quick relief, which may not be possible with analgesic gels or self-management care.  In this way, some non-traditional methods like numbing cream can work. Numbing cream is a topical anesthetic which desensitizes the skin against pain or sensation. Simply put, it dulls the skin so that you don’t feel anything.

Here are the guidelines to use numbing cream for musculoskeletal pain…

  • Wash the affected parts with soap and warm water. Pat dry
  • Apply the first thick layer of the cream and spread it evenly
  • Then, apply second layer which should be thicker than the first one.
  • Cover your skin with a plastic wrap. It will generate heat to potent the numbing effect.
  • Remove the cover after one hour. Wipe off the excess cream.

(CAUTION: Please consult your physician before using numbing cream if you have health conditions or you have allergies.)




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