Spine, muscle, and nervous system conditions are the most common cause of long-term pain and physical disability.1 Approximately 80% of adults will experience spine, muscle, and nervous system pain at some point in their lifetime.
These types of pain are generally caused by repetitive strain, overuse, and physical activity-related injuries.2 Low back pain is the most common example.
Common Symptoms of Spine, Muscle, or Nervous System Pain Include3:
- Local or widespread pain that gets worse with movement
- Stiff and achy feeling throughout the body
- Muscle twitching
- Burning/hot feeling
The symptoms of spine, muscle, and nervous system pain vary from individual to individual, however, there are certain symptoms associated with specific structures in the body3:
- Muscle/Ligament Pain: This feels like dull and achy pain that is usually less severe than bone pain. If a muscle is torn or strained, a sharp, tearing or pulling sensation be felt during the range of motion of that muscle. Pain may or may not be present depending on the extent of the damage.
- Joint Pain: Joint pain is stiff and achy pain that is aggravated by moving the joint. It may or may not be accompanied by swelling/redness at the joint itself.
- Nerve Pain: With nerve pain, you would feel a burning, shooting, or numbness and tingling sensation. It may be accompanied by loss of strength or muscle bulk.
- Bone Pain: This would be deep, penetrating or dull pain. Bone pain can have many different causes (e.g., fracture). It can also be a sign of one of the most common forms of cancer (bone cancer). If you feel this type of pain, make sure see you get checked out by your doctor.
- 1Woolf AD, Pfleger B. Burden of major musculoskeletal conditions. Bull World Health Organ. 2003;81(9):646-56.
- 2Musculoskeletal Pain. Kamloops Physiotherapy. 2017. Available at: http://www.kamloopsphysiotherapy.ca/resources/MusculoskeletalPain.pdf. Accessed December 1, 2017.
3Musculoskeletal Pain. Cleveland Clinic. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/musculoskeletal-pain. Accessed December 1, 2017.