What is Musculoskeletal disorders? - GO.CARE Blog
What is Musculoskeletal disorders?
Author: Hào Nghiêm
Review Date: August 8, 2018 | Last Modified: June 11, 2019
What is Musculoskeletal disorders?

According to reports, more and more Vietnamese people are getting musculoskeletal disorders in recent years. The 2011-2020 period is defined as the “decade of bones and joints” by WHO; they also grouped Vietnam to the top countries that have most musculoskeletal disorder cases.

As a result, medical facilities at domestic hospitals and clinics are under much higher pressure from the rising of musculoskeletal disorders. Therefore, you should prepare yourself basic knowledge about these disorders and their possible treatments first. Additionally, never self-treat without doctors’ advice as it could cause more difficulties for your treatment process and even serious complications.

What are musculoskeletal disorders and orthopedics?

1. Definition of musculoskeletal disorders:

Nowadays, musculoskeletal disorders are quite popular and tend to happen more in young people, especially those who work at desk-jobs. Patients who suffer diseases related to musculature and skeleton have the highest rate of being disabled. Generally, musculoskeletal injuries are hard to treat and recover. Moreover, they also strongly affect patients’ daily life and their health.

After age 40, the risk of having joint degeneration and other musculoskeletal diseases, injuries gradually increases. There are many reasons, including: complicated road conditions, sports injuries, bone loss with age, unhealthy lifestyle (cigarettes, alcohol), sitting for long periods, lack of exercises, etc.

Moreover, there are possible factors such as pressure from work, improper diet, working posture, unhealthy working timetable, chronic diseases and so on. These factors all contribute to making the number of musculoskeletal diseases in Vietnam reach alarming level.

2. Definition of orthopedics

Mostly, people think of bone fracture (limb fractures) when they talk about orthopedics. However, some of them might not know exactly what diseases can be treated by orthopedics.

Generally, orthopedics is a medical specialty that focuses on the diagnosis, correction, prevention, and treatment of patients with skeletal deformities – disorders of the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and skin.

Typically, big hospitals all have their Orthopedics Department but not all of them are specialized in orthopedic treatment. If you are suffering problems related to joints, bones and backbone or damage from injuries, you’d better ask for help from hospitals that are specialized in orthopedics.

Common musculoskeletal disorders

As mentioned above, these disorders are quietly popular at all ages and have different symptoms. Especially when there are changes in weather, unexpectedly high atmospheric humidity causes difficulties for blood distribution to distal parts; as a result, people are usually more susceptible at that time.

Generally, the following are common disorders related to muscle and bones:

1. Osteoarthritis

It occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint in your body, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine. There are different osteoarthritis types: rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatic fever, gout, joint infection. Eventually, they can lead to reverse pain and disability.

2. Herniated disk

A herniated disk refers to a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (disks) between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack up to make your spine. Although most herniated disks occur in your lower back (lumbar spine), although they can also occur in your neck (cervical spine). The most common signs and symptoms of a herniated disk are: Arm or leg pain, numbness or tingling, weakness.

3. Bone fracture

This is a medical condition where the continuity of the bone is broken. Specifically, there are complete and incomplete fractures. Their causes include injuries (traffic accident, work accident, etc.) and medical conditions.

4. Degenerative arthritis

This is a medical condition caused by cartilage damage along with knee infection and synovial fluid deficiency. Age, weight condition and injuries have important effects on the degeneration of joints.

5. Gout

Gout is a common type of arthritis that causes intense pain, swelling, and stiffness in a joint. Typically, it affects the joint in the big toe. More specifically, there are many types of gout: Asymptomatic hyperuricemia, Acutegout, Interval or intercritical gout, Chronic tophaceous gout and Pseudogout.

In addition, some of the more common disorders are: Lupus, polymyositis, backbone degeneration, osteoporosis, Tennis elbow, etc.


Treatments for musculoskeletal disorders depend on each patient’s condition. Moreover, it’s necessary to diagnosis exactly and find out the suitable treatment. In some cases, combination of 2 or more treatments is needed.

Some types of treatments are:

1. Medicine

Pain killers and non-steroid anti-inflammatory (diclofenac, ibuprofen, paracetamol, aspirin) can be used in musculoskeletal treatments. Besides, topical drugs and plaster bandages are also useful. However, you should follow doctor’s instruction to avoid possible complications.

2. Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy helps reduce pain, stimulate and increase recovery ability without surgery and medicine needed. Generally, massage, acupressure and fomentation are used.

3. Surgery

Generally, surgeries are needed and will be performed by specialized surgeons. They can reduce pain and correct bone and muscle disorders. Joint replacement and orthopedic surgery are the most popular.

Moreover, patients can also improve their conditions by additional activities such as jogging, swimming, yoga. Typically, lifestyle and diet also need changing to support your treatments.

You can get further information or book an appointment at GO.CARE for:

  • Achilles tendon rupture surgery
  • Ankle arthroscopy
  • Benign bone tumor removal
  • Bone fracture treatment
  • Bunion surgery
  • Ganglion Cyst Removal
  • Hip Replacement
  • Knee Ligament Surgery (ACL)
  • Replacement of the Knee
  • Knee Fracture Treatment
  • Orthopedics Consultation
  • Osteoarthritis Treatment
  • Osteoporosis Treatment
  • Patellar Dislocation Treatment
  • Sciatica Treatment
  • Shoulder Arthroscopy
  • Shoulder Replacement
  • Tennis Elbow Surgery
  • Wrist Arthroscopy

Need further information? Contact GO.CARE manage team to get more details from expert doctors and medical specialists.

GO.CARE does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

1. What is orthopedics: http://www.perimeterortho.com/what-is-orthopaedics.html accessed August 2, 2018

2. Herniated disk: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/herniated-disk/symptoms-causes/syc-20354095 accessed August 2, 2018

3. Medical Definition of Orthopaedics: https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=6957  accessed August 2, 2018

4. Orthopedics: https://www.britannica.com/science/orthopedics accessed August 2, 2018

5. Orthopaedic Surgeons: Who Are They and What Do They Do?, https://www7.aaos.org/member/directory/definition.htm accessed August 2, 2018