If you’re experiencing any type of musculoskeletal pain, it’s important to see an orthopedic specialist. Musculoskeletal pain can be caused by many different things, such as an injury, overuse, or arthritis.
Doctors who specialize in orthopedics are experts in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal pain. Let’s discuss what musculoskeletal pain is, what causes it, how orthopedic specialists can help, and where you can go in Kingsport, Tennessee, to see the best orthopedic specialists.
What Is Musculoskeletal Pain?
Musculoskeletal pain is any type of pain that affects the muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, or tendons. It can be a sharp pain, dull ache, or throbbing sensation.
This pain can be sudden and come on right after an injury occurs, known as acute pain, or it can be long-lasting pain, called chronic pain. Orthopedic pain can also vary in intensity over time, and some activities may make it better or worse.
Causes of Musculoskeletal Pain
There are many different causes of musculoskeletal pain. Some of the most common causes include:
- Injury: Common injuries that can lead to musculoskeletal pain include bone fractures, sprains (ligament injury), and strains (muscle or tendon injury).
- Overuse: The overuse of a particular muscle, bone, or joint can cause musculoskeletal pain. This is often seen in athletes who train hard or people who have jobs that require repetitive motions.
- Arthritis: Arthritis, which is inflammation of one or more joints, is a common cause of musculoskeletal pain. There are many different types of arthritis, but the most common type is osteoarthritis – which is due to the wear and tear of the cartilage in a joint.
How Orthopedic Specialists Can Help
Orthopedists are experts in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal pain. They will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is specific to your needs, and which won’t interfere with your current medications and other factors. Treatment plans may include medication, physical therapy, and/or surgery.
Orthopedic care for a patient is often developed by a team of specialists, including orthopedic surgeons, physician assistants (PAs), nurse practitioners (NPS), and physical therapists (PTs):
Orthopedic surgeons have completed four years of undergraduate education followed by four years of medical school, and then five or more years of an orthopedic surgery residency and a fellowship. Orthopedic surgeons diagnose health issues, then recommend and administer treatment plans for patients – including performing surgeries like joint replacements and tissue repair.
Orthopedic physician assistants and nurse practitioners can evaluate a patient’s condition and recommend treatments. They cannot perform orthopedic surgery.
Orthopedic physical therapists can also create treatment plans for patients and work closely with orthopedic surgeons, PAs, and RNs. They can teach patients how to perform specific exercises to treat their pain and strengthen their muscles, bones, and joints.
What to Expect When You See an Orthopedic Specialist for the First Time
When you see an orthopedic specialist for your musculoskeletal pain, they will take your medical history and then perform a physical examination. They may also recommend tests to help diagnose your condition.
Once a diagnosis is made by your orthopedic specialist, the provider will develop a treatment plan. This may include physical therapy, medication, and/or surgery, depending on the severity of your injury or the cause of your pain.
Orthopedic Specialists in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia
It is in your best interest to seek an orthopedic evaluation if you have been experiencing any kind of musculoskeletal pain, which could be a result of injury, overuse, or arthritis. Orthopedic specialists can help by developing an individualized treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and specific needs based on your injury.
Here at Watauga Orthopaedics, we offer comprehensive medical care for all these needs and more. We have a team of dozens of orthopedic doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physical therapists who want to help you get back to your life pain-free.