If you’re like most people, you probably take your muscle health and function for granted. You go about your day, using your muscles to do everything from walking to lifting weights, without giving them a second thought.

But what would happen if suddenly one or more of your muscles stopped working the way they’re supposed to? That’s where musculoskeletal injuries and issues come in.

It’s an issue that approximately 2 billion of the earth’s 8 billion people deal with on a daily basis. In this guide, we’ll discuss the prevention and treatment of common musculoskeletal injuries and issues.

5 Types of Musculoskeletal Injuries

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, the five most common types of musculoskeletal injuries are sprains, strains, tendinitis, bursitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

These injuries can be caused by a variety of factors, including repetitive motions, overuse, direct blows, and sudden twists or turns. While the first two often get confused – sprains and strains – they’re actually quite different. Sprains occur when ligaments are stretched or torn, while strains happen when muscles or tendons are stretched or torn.

Tendinitis is inflammation of the tendons. This is common in athletes and weightlifters. Another common injury, bursitis, is inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints. This commonly occurs with age and overuse. Lastly, carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs when the median nerve in the wrist becomes compressed.

While musculoskeletal injuries can be painful and debilitating, most can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). In severe cases, however, surgery may be necessary.

What You Need to Know About Muscle Cramps

As with some of the injuries noted above, muscle cramps can result from a variety of factors, but they are most often the result of overuse or repetitive motion. When muscles are used repeatedly without proper warm-up or stretching, they can become tight and constricted.

This can lead to inflammation and pain, as well as a decrease in range of motion. In some cases, muscle cramps can also be caused by dehydration or electrolyte imbalance. However, the most common cause of muscle cramps is muscle fatigue.

When muscles are tired, they are less able to pump blood and deliver oxygen to the rest of the body. This can lead to cramping, weakness, and even paralysis.

While muscle cramps are not always serious, they can be painful and debilitating. Treatment typically involves stretches and massage to help relax the muscles. In some cases, heat or ice may also be recommended.

Strength As Prevention

Strengthening your muscles can help combat musculoskeletal injuries and cramps. As you age, your muscles naturally deteriorate and become weaker. This process, called sarcopenia, can lead to frailty, falls, and fractures.

However, by engaging in strength-training exercises such as weightlifting, you can help slow down the progression of sarcopenia and preserve your muscle mass. In addition to reducing your risk of injury, strong muscles can help to prevent cramps. Scientifically speaking, muscle cramps occur due to a build-up of lactic acid, and weakness can exacerbate them.

By strengthening your muscles, you can help to reduce the severity and frequency of cramps. Strength-training exercises such as squats and lunges are especially effective in prevention.

How to Treat Muscle Pain and Inflammation

Chiropractors specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. Among the most common conditions we treat are injuries to the spine, neck, and shoulders. There are a variety of chiropractic techniques to help patients recover from these injuries, including spinal manipulation, massage, and stretching exercises.

Additionally, we recommend lifestyle changes to help prevent future injuries. For example, maintaining proper posture, exercising regularly, and avoiding repetitive motions. By restoring alignment to the musculoskeletal system, you can relieve pain, improve range of motion, and prevent future injuries.

These measures also help with musculoskeletal inflammation. When your muscles are properly aligned, there is less strain on the tendons and ligaments. This can help to reduce inflammation and pain. In addition, regular exercise may increase blood flow and reduce inflammation throughout the body.

While rest is important for healing, too much of it can actually lead to further muscle weakness and atrophy. We can discuss sleep patterns and assist you with developing a schedule that brings balance to your life.

Now that you know more about the different types of musculoskeletal injuries and issues, it’s time to take action. If you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort, make an appointment with Neurolink Chiropractic as soon as possible.

For more than a quarter of a century, Dr. Paul Quarneri and his staff have been helping patients with issues like these. They can diagnose and create a treatment plan specifically for you. Don’t wait until the pain gets worse. Get help today!