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Health, Medicine, Nursing
Research Paper
English (U.S.)
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Musculoskeletal Disorders (Research Paper Sample)


The task was to describe musculoskeletal disorders. In addition, it was vital to show some of the treatment procedures of the musculoskeletal system. Musculoskeletal disorders risk factors across age groups and the physical signs to look for. Lastly, the paper discussed some of the effective musculoskeletal assessment techniques.


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Musculoskeletal disorders contribute to severe disabilities if not appropriately managed. The musculoskeletal injuries have the largest representation in emergency-room visits and primary care. As a result, this health issue has recorded over 50 million emergency department visits, especially to orthopedic surgeon facilities. There is an increased prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders, as the ageing population increases. Other factors, such as lifestyle and accidents, can contribute to this medical problem. This paper explores the anticipated challenges in completing a musculoskeletal assessment and expected differences when assessing patients across the lifespan. The discussion will further share findings from scholarly resources that help in musculoskeletal assessment performance. 
Musculoskeletal examination entails pairing physical assessment with patients' health history to ascertain a clinical diagnosis and treatment. However, several challenges are anticipated when assessing patients with joint and bone problems. Firstly, due to a knowledge deficit, it is possible to experience difficulty conducting physical assessments and interpreting the results. According to Al Maini et al. (2019), their study focuses on medical graduates' knowledge deficit and how it negatively affects the musculoskeletal assessment. Due to insufficient knowledge about the subject, scholars get short of ideas to complete the clinical task. Secondly, a lack of self-confidence is also another issue that might affect this assessment. In most cases, it is easy to doubt one's skills, which may hold an individual back from effectively performing an assessment. Literature has shown that medical graduates have low confidence in performing a musculoskeletal physical assessment. In this case, a study highlights the significance of all learners acquiring a basic level of musculoskeletal competency and skills to place them in a position to confidently diagnose, treat/manage or make patients' referrals (Al Maini et al., 2019).
Age is a critical factor when assessing the causes of musculoskeletal pain. In young children and adolescents, musculoskeletal pain may result from systemic conditions like Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (Thatayatikom & De Leucio, 2020). Joint pain among children and adolescents may also be caused by trauma such as accidents. Back pain among children and adolescents is mostly due to muscle strains, overuse injuries, and ligament strains. Among adults aged less than 60 years, musculoskeletal pain may result from repetitive strains, trauma, overuse, and postural strain. It may also be caused by infectious arthritis due to bacterial infections such as Lyme disease and gonorrhea or other viral infections (Bickley, 2017). For persons aged above 60, most musculoskeletal pain is due to bone brittleness, decreased ligament elasticity, loss of muscular strength, and decreased cartilage resilience, which lessen the tissues' ability to function normally (Minetto et al., 2020: Dains et al., 2020). In this case, fractures due to reduced muscular strength and osteoporosis may be major causes of joint pain. Other causes may include osteoarthritis, gout, and infections. Therefore, when assessing patients across the lifespan, analyses should be based on the age groups to identify the possible causes.
An effective musculoskeletal assessment comprises three main techniques: physical observation, palpation, and manipulation. Observation involves physically examining any noticeable abnormalities around the musculoskeletal structure's skin or parts like swellings or redness. Palpation involves exerting a light or a firm pressure to detect and evaluate the magnitude of the anomalies surrounding the musculoskeletal structure (Vilella & Reddivari, 2020). Palpation can help identify trigger points or areas with pain or tenderness. A combination of physical observation and palpation can help examine the symmetry or asymmetry of the joints, warmth, and tenderness, as well as spasms to identify any abnormalities. Manipulation comprises various practices to measure the patient's range of motion (ROM), gait, strength, reflexes, and sensations. The ROM involves assessing the affected joint independently to note its hyper or hypermobility or limitations. A gait examination determines the locomotion functionality and improves clinical assessment, decision-making, and future follow-ups. An appropriate evaluation should also assess a muscle's capacity to test its strength. The response and senso

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