What is Musculoskeletal Pain?Bone, Muscle, Joint, Tendon, Ligament, Nerve

Musculoskeletal pain affects the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. Pain can be localized in one area, or widespread.


3 stages of healing:

1)  Acute ( ‘Inflammatory Stage’): Immediate to 2-5 days or more.

– Natural response of body to release chemicals to help in reducing the pain. Scar tissue starts to form and resting with gentle physiotherapy (eg ultrasound, electrotherapy) is recommended.

2) Subacute (‘Proliferative Stage’): 2 days to 4 weeks or more.

– Healing takes place and body grows new tissues to repair damaged structures. Scar tissues continue to form. Since tissues are new and fragile, injury/pain area must be very careful not to damage  them as it may cause more pain. Simple movement exercises may be appropriate but is best limited to a physiotherapist’s skilled hands.

3)  Chronic (‘Remodeling Stage’): 4 weeks to 2years or more.

– Scar tissues is remodelled and may not be as strong as original. This is a important time when patient takes an active role in rehabilitating injury with physiotherapists.

What are the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain?

Symptoms of musculoskeletal pain depend on whether the pain is caused by an injury or overuse and whether it is chronic or acute. The symptoms can also differ from person to person.

Common symptoms:

  • Localized or widespread pain, may worsen with movement.
  • Aching, stiffness or soreness
  • Feeling of muscles ‘pulled or overworked’
  • General fatigue or tiredness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Reduced daily activities or function


Dfferent types of Musculoskeletal Pain:

  • Bone pain: Usually deep, penetrating, or dull. It most commonly results from injury. It is important to be sure that the pain is not related to a fracture or tumor.
  • Muscle pain: Often less intense than bone pain, but it can still be debilitating. Muscle pain can be caused by an injury, an autoimmune reaction, loss of blood flow to the muscle, infection, or a tumor. The pain can also include muscle spasms and cramps.
  • Tendon Pain: Similar to muscle pain. Becomes worsen when affected area is stretched or moved.
  • Ligament pain: Feeling of instability, giving way sensation, unable to support the joint.
  • Joint pain: Joints 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.
  • Nerve pain: Usually deep aching, numbness, tingling, pins and needles or weakness. May spread to arms for neck pain and legs for back pain.


At heal360 Physioclinic, we have developed a signature PainRelief360™ program:

Our therapists with a special interest in  pain management can offer many techniques and pain relief therapy depending on each individual’s needs and goals.



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Disclaimer: The content on this page is provided for general information purposes only and is not meant to replace a physiotherapy or medical doctor or specialist consultation.