Musculoskeletal Pain - More Common as We Age?
Musculoskeletal pain occurs in people of all ages, but usually affects us more as we get older. Musculoskeletal pain affects the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. It can be acute (having a rapid onset with severe symptoms) or chronic (long-lasting). Musculoskeletal pain can be localized in one area, or widespread.
Types of Musculoskeletal Pain
Musculoskeletal pain has varying symptoms and causes. Some of the more common types of pain include:
- Muscle pain: Muscle pain has many potential causes but the most common is due to injury. The pain can also include muscle spasms and cramps.
- Tendon and ligament pain: Pains in the tendons or ligaments are often caused by injuries, including include sprains. This type of musculoskeletal pain often becomes worse when the affected area is stretched or moved.
- Fibromyalgia: This is a condition that may cause pain in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments. The pain is usually in multiple locations and can be difficult to describe.
- Joint pain: Joint injuries and diseases usually produce a stiff, aching, "arthritic" pain. The pain may range from mild to severe and worsens when moving the joint. The joints may also swell. Joint inflammation (arthritis) is a common cause of pain.
- "Tunnel" syndromes: This refers to musculoskeletal disorders that cause pain due to nerve compression. The disorders include carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, and tarsal tunnel syndrome. The pain tends to spread along the path supplied by the nerve and may feel like burning. These disorders are often caused by overuse.
Musculoskeletal Pain - How is it Treated?
Whether acute or chronic if your musculoskeletal pain causes you to seek medical attention you may be prescribed medication(s) by a licensed medical provider to treat your pain. Medications your licensed medical provider may consider utilizing include:
- Analgesics - Analgesic medications are designed specifically to relieve pain and examples include acetaminophen, lidocaine, and aspirin.
- NSAIDs - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are drugs that relieve both pain and inflammation and examples include ibuprofen, ketoprofen, and diclofenac.
- Muscle Relaxants - Muscle relaxants are a diverse group of medications that are utilized to treat muscle spasms and examples include baclofen and cyclobenzaprine.
- Tricyclic Antidepressants - Tricyclic antidepressants are one of the most effective types of antidepressant used for pain and examples include amitriptyline and clomipramine.
Many of the medications listed above are normally dispensed as oral medications. Two of the primary problems with medications that are taken orally are:
- They can cause systemic side effects - which means they can cause undesirable side effects throughout the body. For example, according to the American College of Gastroenterology’s website, the second major cause for stomach ulcers is irritation of the stomach arising from regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- You may have to take large quantities to feel relief from your pain since oral medications are dispersed throughout the body and not delivered directly to your site of pain.
Musculoskeletal Pain - How We Can Help You!
We have the ability to take many of the medications that may be prescribed to treat your musculoskeletal pain and compound them into topical creams or gels. Some of these medications have the ability to be combined together as well. Topical medication administration has been used for decades, and some potential advantages of utilizing topical medications for pain management include:
- Achievement of efficacy with a lower dose
- Site specific drug delivery
- Improved patient compliance and adherence
- Avoidance of risks associated with oral administration
Is a Compounded Prescription for a Topical Medication Right for Me?
- Talk to your health care provider - Discuss compounding topical medications as a treatment option, and let your health care provider know you heard about prescription compounding from Vic’s Family Pharmacy.
- Contact Us - To inquire about potential treatment strategies, and how Vic’s Family Pharmacy can help you.