Health Topics

Bones joints and muscles

Muscle Disorders
National Library of Medicine
Myopathies
Rhabdomyolysis
Myopathy

Your muscles help you move and help your body work. Different types of muscles have different jobs. There are many problems that can affect muscles. Muscle disorders can cause weakness, pain or even paralysis.

Causes of muscle disorders include

  • Injury or overuse, such as sprains or strains, cramps or tendinitis
  • A genetic disorder, such as muscular dystrophy
  • Some cancers
  • Inflammation, such as myositis
  • Diseases of nerves that affect muscles
  • Infections
  • Certain medicines

Sometimes the cause is not known.


Muscular Diseases
Bones, Joints and Muscles
Your muscles help you move and help your body work. Different types of muscles have different jobs. There are many problems that can affect muscles. Muscle ...
Joint Disorders
National Library of Medicine
Arthrography
Arthroplasty
Arthroscopy

A joint is where two or more bones come together, like the knee, hip, elbow, or shoulder. Joints can be damaged by many types of injuries or diseases, including

  • Arthritis - inflammation of a joint. It causes pain, stiffness, and swelling. Over time, the joint can become severely damaged.
  • Bursitis - inflammation of a fluid-filled sac that cushions the joint
  • Dislocations - injuries that force the ends of the bones out of position

Treatment of joint problems depends on the cause. If you have a sports injury, treatment often begins with the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) method to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and speed healing. Other possible treatments include pain relievers, keeping the injured area from moving, rehabilitation, and sometimes surgery. For arthritis, injuries, or other diseases, you may need joint replacement surgery to remove the damaged joint and put in a new one.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases


Joint Diseases
Bones, Joints and Muscles
A joint is where two or more bones come together, like the knee, hip, elbow, or shoulder. Joints can be damaged by many types of injuries or diseases, ...
Bone Diseases
National Library of Medicine

Your bones help you move, give you shape and support your body. They are living tissues that rebuild constantly throughout your life. During childhood and your teens, your body adds new bone faster than it removes old bone. After about age 20, you can lose bone faster than you make bone. To have strong bones when you are young, and to prevent bone loss when you are older, you need to get enough calcium, vitamin D, and exercise. You should also avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol.

Bone diseases can make bones easy to break. Different kinds of bone problems include

  • Low bone density and osteoporosis, which make your bones weak and more likely to break
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta makes your bones brittle
  • Paget's disease of bone makes them weak
  • Bones can also develop cancer and infections
  • Other bone diseases, which are caused by poor nutrition, genetics, or problems with the rate of bone growth or rebuilding

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases


Bone Diseases
Bones, Joints and Muscles
Your bones help you move, give you shape and support your body. They are living tissues that rebuild constantly throughout your life. During childhood and ...
Bone Infections
National Library of Medicine
Osteomyelitis

Like other parts of the body, bones can get infected. The infections are usually bacterial, but can also be fungal. They may spread to the bone from nearby skin or muscles, or from another part of the body through the bloodstream. People who are at risk for bone infections include those with diabetes, poor circulation, or recent injury to the bone. You may also be at risk if you are having hemodialysis.

Symptoms of bone infections include

  • Pain in the infected area
  • Chills and fever
  • Swelling, warmth, and redness

A blood test or imaging test such as an x-ray can tell if you have a bone infection. Treatment includes antibiotics and often surgery.


Bone Diseases, Infectious
Bones, Joints and Muscles
Infections
Like other parts of the body, bones can get infected. The infections are usually bacterial, but can also be fungal. They may spread to the bone from nearby ...
Neck Injuries and Disorders
National Library of Medicine
Cervical Spine
Whiplash

Any part of your neck - muscles, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, or nerves - can cause neck problems. Neck pain is very common. Pain may also come from your shoulder, jaw, head, or upper arms.

Muscle strain or tension often causes neck pain. The problem is usually overuse, such as from sitting at a computer for too long. Sometimes you can strain your neck muscles from sleeping in an awkward position or overdoing it during exercise. Falls or accidents, including car accidents, are another common cause of neck pain. Whiplash, a soft tissue injury to the neck, is also called neck sprain or strain.

Treatment depends on the cause, but may include applying ice, taking pain relievers, getting physical therapy or wearing a cervical collar. You rarely need surgery.


Cervical Vertebrae
Neck Pain
Neck Injuries
Bones, Joints and Muscles
Injuries and Wounds
Any part of your neck - muscles, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, or nerves - can cause neck problems. Neck pain is very common. Pain may also come from your shoulder, jaw, ...
Muscle Cramps
National Library of Medicine
Charley Horse
Cramps
Leg Cramps
What are muscle cramps?

Muscle cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions or spasms in one or more of your muscles. They are very common and often occur after exercise. Some people get muscle cramps, especially leg cramps, at night. They can be painful, and they may last a few seconds to several minutes.

You can have a cramp in any muscle, but they happen most often in the

  • Thighs
  • Feet
  • Hands
  • Arms
  • Abdomen
  • Area along your ribcage
What causes muscle cramps?

Causes of muscle cramps include:

  • Straining or overusing a muscle. This is the most common cause.
  • Compression of your nerves, from problems such as a spinal cord injury or a pinched nerve in the neck or back
  • Dehydration
  • Low levels of electrolytes such as magnesium, potassium, or calcium
  • Not enough blood getting to your muscles
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain medicines
  • Getting dialysis

Sometimes the cause is not known.

Who is at risk for muscle cramps?

Anyone can get muscle cramps, but they are more common in some people:

  • The elderly
  • People who are overweight
  • Athletes
  • Pregnant women
  • People with certain medical conditions, such as thyroid and nerve disorders
When do I need to see a doctor about muscle cramps?

Muscle cramps are usually harmless, and they go away after a few minutes. But you should contact your health care provider if the cramps

  • Are severe
  • Happen frequently
  • Don't get better with stretching and drinking enough fluids
  • Last a long time
  • Are accompanied by swelling, redness, or a feeling of warmth
  • Are accompanied by muscle weakness
What are the treatments for muscle cramps?

You usually don't need treatment for muscle cramps. You may be able to find some relief from cramps by

  • Stretching or gently massaging the muscle
  • Applying heat when the muscle is tight and ice when the muscle is sore
  • Getting more fluids if you are dehydrated

If another medical problem is causing the cramps, treating that problem will likely help. There are medicines that providers sometimes prescribe to prevent cramps, but they are not always effective and may cause side effects. Talk to your provider about the risks and benefits of medicines.

How can I prevent muscle cramps?

To prevent muscle cramps, you can

  • Stretch your muscles, especially before exercising. If you often get leg cramps at night, stretch your leg muscles before bed.
  • Drink plenty of liquids. If you do intense exercise or exercise in the heat, sports drinks can help you replace electrolytes.

Muscle Cramp
Bones, Joints and Muscles
What are muscle cramps? Muscle cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions or spasms in one or more of your muscles. They are very common and often occur ...
Foot Injuries and Disorders
National Library of Medicine
Morton's Neuroma

Each of your feet has 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments. No wonder a lot of things can go wrong. Here are a few common problems:

  • Bunions - hard, painful bumps on the big toe joint
  • Corns and calluses - thickened skin from friction or pressure
  • Plantar warts - warts on the soles of your feet
  • Fallen arches - also called flat feet

Ill-fitting shoes often cause these problems. Aging and being overweight also increase your chances of having foot problems.


Foot Diseases
Foot Injuries
Bones, Joints and Muscles
Injuries and Wounds
Each of your feet has 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments. No wonder a lot of things can go wrong. Here are a few common problems: Bunions - hard, painful bumps on ...
Elbow Injuries and Disorders
National Library of Medicine
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Tennis Elbow

Your elbow joint is made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments and fluid. Muscles and tendons help the elbow joint move. When any of these structures is hurt or diseased, you have elbow problems.

Many things can make your elbow hurt. A common cause is tendinitis, an inflammation or injury to the tendons that attach muscle to bone. Tendinitis of the elbow is a sports injury, often from playing tennis or golf. You may also get tendinitis from overuse of the elbow.

Other causes of elbow pain include sprains, strains, fractures, dislocations, bursitis and arthritis. Treatment depends on the cause.


Tennis Elbow
Elbow
Elbow Joint
Bones, Joints and Muscles
Injuries and Wounds
... inflammation or injury to the tendons that attach muscle to bone. Tendinitis of ... dislocations, bursitis and arthritis. Treatment depends on the cause.
Bone Density
National Library of Medicine
Bone Loss
Osteopenia
Bone mass

Strong bones are important for your health. A bone mineral density (BMD) test is the best way to measure your bone health. It compares your bone density, or mass, to that of a healthy person who is the same age and sex as you are. It can show

  • Whether you have osteoporosis, a disease that makes your bones weak
  • Your risk for breaking bones
  • Whether your osteoporosis treatment is working

Low bone mass that is not low enough to be osteoporosis is sometimes called osteopenia. Causes of low bone mass include family history, not developing good bone mass when you are young, and certain conditions or medicines. Not everyone who has low bone mass gets osteoporosis, but they are at higher risk for getting it.

If you have low bone mass, there are things you can do to help slow down bone loss. These include eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D and doing weight-bearing exercise such as walking, tennis, or dancing. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medicines to prevent osteoporosis.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases


Bone Density
Bones, Joints and Muscles
Strong bones are important for your health. A bone mineral density (BMD) test is the best way to measure your bone health. It compares your bone density, or ...
Knee Injuries and Disorders
National Library of Medicine
ACL Injuries
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
Baker's Cyst
Chondromalacia Patellae
Meniscus
Patella

Your knee joint is made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments and fluid. Muscles and tendons help the knee joint move. When any of these structures is hurt or diseased, you have knee problems. Knee problems can cause pain and difficulty walking.

Knee problems are very common, and they occur in people of all ages. Knee problems can interfere with many things, from participation in sports to simply getting up from a chair and walking. This can have a big impact on your life.

The most common disease affecting the knee is osteoarthritis. The cartilage in the knee gradually wears away, causing pain and swelling.

Injuries to ligaments and tendons also cause knee problems. A common injury is to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). You usually injure your ACL by a sudden twisting motion. ACL and other knee injuries are common sports injuries.

Treatment of knee problems depends on the cause. In some cases your doctor may recommend knee replacement.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases


Knee Injuries
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction
Bones, Joints and Muscles
Injuries and Wounds
Your knee joint is made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments and fluid. Muscles and tendons help the knee joint move. When any of these structures is hurt or diseased, you have ...