Musculoskeletal

Usha Sivakumar, MD -  - Internal Medicine

SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care

Usha Sivakumar, MD

Internal Medicine & Primary Care located in Frederick, MD

Musculoskeletal problems can be acute and traumatic, or gradual and chronic, but however they manifest themselves, they’re usually a source of great pain and reduced mobility. Usha Sivakumar, MD, MBBS, is a highly experienced physician at SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care in Frederick, Maryland, who provides outstanding services for patients with a range of musculoskeletal disorders. She focuses on treating the cause of the problem to provide optimal relief from symptoms rather than masking pain with narcotics, so if you want an effective solution for musculoskeletal pain, call the clinic now or book an appointment online.

Musculoskeletal Q & A

What are musculoskeletal disorders?

The term musculoskeletal covers all the injuries, aches, pains, and diseases you may experience in your bones, joints, muscles, and connective tissues like ligaments and tendons.

Musculoskeletal problems have several potential causes.

Acute injures and chronic damage

Acute musculoskeletal damage is typically caused by incurring:

  • Sprains (damage to a ligament)
  • Strains (damage to a tendon)
  • Broken bones
  • Dislocated joints
  • Torn muscles
  • Herniated discs

These types of injuries often arise from falls, playing sports, being in a road traffic accident, and other traumatic events. Chronic injuries are usually the result of repetitive strain, for example, tennis elbow or golfer’s knee.

Congenital and acquired diseases

Congenital diseases are those you’re born with, like scoliosis. Those that develop in later life are often as a result of degeneration of the bones, joints, and connective tissues, for example:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Osteoarthritis

With age and wear and tear, joints, vertebral discs, and connective tissues deteriorate, resulting in compression of the vertebrae, narrowing of the spine, and loss of protective cartilage in the joints, that produce symptoms of degenerative disease.

What are the symptoms of musculoskeletal conditions?

The precise nature of your symptoms varies depending on whether you suffer an acute injury or a chronic problem that develops over time. The most common symptoms of acute injury are:

  • Pain, usually immediate when you sustain the injury
  • Swelling of the affected area
  • Heat and sometimes reddening of the skin
  • A degree of movement limitation
  • Skin discoloration and bruising

Symptoms of chronic conditions tend to be more subtle, with a gradual loss of function and an increasing degree of pain.

How are musculoskeletal problems treated?

If you break a bone, dislocate a joint, or severely damage a ligament or tendon, you’ll probably be aware there’s a serious problem, and you should seek immediate medical attention. You may need to have the break set or the joint manipulated back into position, as well as potentially having a cast or other supportive device.

Acute musculoskeletal injuries such as sprains and strains are best treated initially by following the RICE protocol.

  • Rest: Don’t use the affected area
  • Ice: Apply a cold compress
  • Compression: Apply a bandage or compression sleeve
  • Elevation: Raise the injured area above the height of your head

These actions reduce swelling and allow your body a chance to initiate healing, but if symptoms are severe or aren’t improving after a couple of days of RICE therapy, you should go for a checkup at SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care.

Chronic conditions usually present two main problems: Loss of function and pain. Pain and inflammation can respond to anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medication, but these treatments don’t address the underlying cause of the problem. Dr. Sivakumar’s focus is on relieving symptoms with a combination of effective physical therapies tailored to your individual requirements, rather than resorting to narcotics to mask the pain.

If you need attention because of an acute injury, SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care welcomes walk-ins. You can also call or book an appointment online to discuss management of chronic musculoskeletal problems.