What is Musculoskeletal Medicine?

Musculoskeletal medicine is a subspecialty of General Practice, involving the examination and management of all aspects of the musculoskeletal system, which includes joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and bones.

The specialty encompasses diseases as diverse as these structures, ranging from acute and chronic injuries to complex conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis.

Common injections used in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions

If you have been suffering from chronic pain, you are not alone. The good news is that there are many non-invasive treatments for musculoskeletal pain. The following are the four most common injections used by MSK physicians to treat the conditions.

Cortisone (steroid)

This is the most common injection used for musculoskeletal pain. It can be used on its own or in combination with other therapies, like prolotherapy or platelet-rich plasma (PRP). The goal of injecting cortisone is to reduce inflammation and pain.

Perineural Injection Therapy (PIT)

A peri-neural injection is an injection that goes right around a nerve. This type of injection can be used to treat trigger points and help reduce muscle spasms and increase the range of motion in joints.


Prolo treatment involves the injection of a solution into damaged ligaments or tendons to stimulate tissue repair. The solution contains dextrose and irritant substances, which cause inflammation and irritation at the site of the injury, which helps stimulate healing.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

PRP therapy involves taking your own blood sample, separating out platelets from red blood cells, and then injecting them into your body at areas where you have pain or injury.

How MSK Physicians Deal with Musculoskeletal Conditions

Musculoskeletal physicians have an understanding and familiarity with rehabilitation programs, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy. In addition, they have a role in providing treatment for those with comorbidities such as obesity or diabetes.

While imaging techniques, such as x-ray and ultrasound, were once reserved for specialists, musculoskeletal physicians can now perform diagnostic imaging on site and integrate this information into their assessments. This means that patients can receive more timely diagnoses and treatments from within a single environment.

It also means that musculoskeletal physicians may bypass the need to refer patients with less severe conditions to specialists, leading to greater choice for patients at minimal cost to the health care system.

As a new specialty, MSK physicians are trained in patient-centred care. This means that they take time to listen carefully and consider the unique needs of each individual patient.

MSK physicians focus on non-surgical interventions for managing musculoskeletal conditions. They work closely with patients to evaluate, diagnose, and treat musculoskeletal conditions from head to toe.

Collaboration is key to the successful treatment of patients with musculoskeletal conditions. For example, rehabilitation therapists often work closely with MSK physicians on treatment plans that enable patients to return to their previous pain-free function through targeted movement and muscle strength training. These services can be provided on an outpatient basis at the clinic or hospital without the need for surgery or extensive recovery times.

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