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Concept: Musculoskeletal disorders


BACKGROUND: Musculoskeletal conditions (MSCs) are widely prevalent in present-day society, with resultant high healthcare costs and substantial negative effects on patient health and quality of life. The main aim of this overview was to synthesize evidence from systematic reviews on the effects of exercise therapy (ET) on pain and physical function for patients with MSCs. In addition, the evidence for the effect of ET on disease pathogenesis, and whether particular components of exercise programs are associated with the size of the treatment effects, was also explored. METHODS: We included four common conditions: fibromyalgia (FM), low back pain (LBP), neck pain (NP), and shoulder pain (SP), and four specific musculoskeletal diseases: osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and osteoporosis (OP). We first included Cochrane reviews with the most recent update being January 2007 or later, and then searched for non-Cochrane reviews published after this date. Pain and physical functioning were selected as primary outcomes. RESULTS: We identified 9 reviews, comprising a total of 224 trials and 24,059 patients. In addition, one review addressing the effect of exercise on pathogenesis was included. Overall, we found solid evidence supporting ET in the management of MSCs, but there were substantial differences in the level of research evidence between the included diagnostic groups. The standardized mean differences for knee OA, LBP, FM, and SP varied between 0.30 and 0.65 and were significantly in favor of exercise for both pain and function. For NP, hip OA, RA, and AS, the effect estimates were generally smaller and not always significant. There was little or no evidence that ET can influence disease pathogenesis. The only exception was for osteoporosis, where there was evidence that ET increases bone mineral density in postmenopausal women, but no significant effects were found for clinically relevant outcomes (fractures). For LBP and knee OA, there was evidence suggesting that the treatment effect increases with the number of exercise sessions. CONCLUSIONS: There is empirical evidence that ET has beneficial clinical effects for most MSCs. Except for osteoporosis, there seems to be a gap in the understanding of the ways in which ET influences disease mechanisms.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Back pain, Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Acupuncture, Arthritis, Ankylosing spondylitis, Musculoskeletal disorders


Prophylactic factor replacement, which prevents hemarthroses and thereby reduces the musculoskeletal disease burden in children with hemophilia A, requires frequent intravenous infusions (three to four times weekly).

Concepts: Protein, Human musculoskeletal system, Musculoskeletal disorders


Currently, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is widely used for treatment of various musculoskeletal disorders. We report a case of ulnar neuropathy secondary to the application of ESWT. A 48-year-old male was diagnosed with medial epicondylitis and underwent 2 sessions of ESWT. Immediately after the second session, he experienced paresthesia and weakness in the right hand. On physical examination, atrophy of the first dorsal interosseus and weakness of the abductor digiti minimi were observed. Electrophysiologic study demonstrated ulnar neuropathy at the elbow with severe partial axonotmesis. Our case report demonstrates that ESWT might cause or contribute to peripheral nerve injury at the site of application.

Concepts: Medical terms, Action potential, Neurology, Philosophy of science, Demonstration, Physical examination, Musculoskeletal disorders, Extracorporeal shockwave therapy


Musculoskeletal disorders have been identified globally as the second most common healthcare problem for ‘years lived with disability’, and of these shoulder conditions are amongst the most common, frequently associated with substantial pain and morbidity. Exercise and acupuncture are often provided as initial treatments for musculoskeletal shoulder conditions but their clinical effectiveness is uncertain. This study compared group exercise with group exercise plus either acupuncture or electro-acupuncture in patients with subacromial pain syndrome.

Concepts: Health, Clinical trial, Randomized controlled trial, Pain, Acupuncture, Mental disorder, Musculoskeletal disorders, Electroacupuncture


Danish patients with musculoskeletal disorders are commonly referred for primary care physiotherapy treatment but little is known about their general health status, pain diagnoses, clinical course and prognosis. The objectives of this study were to 1) describe the clinical course of patients with musculoskeletal disorders referred to physiotherapy, 2) identify predictors associated with a satisfactory outcome, and 3) determine the influence of the primary pain site diagnosis relative to those predictors.

Concepts: Health care, Health, Medical terms, Diagnosis, Greek loanwords, Medical diagnosis, Musculoskeletal disorders


Is massage therapy effective for people with musculoskeletal disorders compared to any other treatment or no treatment?

Concepts: Massage, Musculoskeletal disorders


The aim of this study was to review musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) prevalence among surgeons performing minimally invasive surgery.

Concepts: Surgery, Minimally invasive, Invasive, Invasiveness of surgical procedures, Musculoskeletal disorders


Neck pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders in clinical practice. However neck pain may mask more serious pathology. Although uncommon in most musculoskeletal physiotherapy practices, it is possible to encounter rare and extremely life-threatening conditions, such as craniovertebral congenital anomalies. Basilar invagination is an abnormality where the odontoid peg projects above the foramen magnum and is the commonest malformation of the craniocervical junction. Its prevalence in the general population is estimated to be 1 %. Furthermore, it is a well-recognised cause of neck pain insomuch as it can be easily overlooked and mistaken for a musculoskeletal disorder. Diagnosis is based on the patient’s symptoms in conjunction with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). If life-threatening symptoms, or pressure on the spinal cord are present, the recommended treatment is typically surgical correction.

Concepts: Developmental biology, Medical imaging, Nuclear magnetic resonance, Magnetic resonance imaging, Congenital disorder, Congenital disorders, Congenital, Musculoskeletal disorders


Physicians in procedural specialties are at high risk for work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). This has been called “an impending epidemic” in the context of the looming workforce shortage; however, prevalence estimates vary by study.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Musculoskeletal disorders


Imbalance between individual resources and work demands can lead to musculoskeletal disorders and reduced work ability. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of workplace- versus home-based physical exercise on work ability among healthcare workers.

Concepts: Health care, Clinical trial, Randomized controlled trial, Physical exercise, Pharmaceutical industry, Clinical research, Musculoskeletal disorders