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Musculoskeletal disorders

Musculoskeletal conditions affect your muscles, bones and joints, and include some autoimmune diseases.

A musculoskeletal condition is a disorder or injury that impacts our body’s movement and ability to sit, walk or run. An adult’s musculoskeletal system is made up of 206 bones and more than 600 muscles, connected by ligaments, tendons and soft tissues.

A quarter of adults live with a musculoskeletal condition, with the most common including back pain, fibromyalgia and arthritis. These make up around 30% of GP consultations. The number of patients is increasing rapidly due to our ageing population.

Occasional muscular pain or inflammation is normal, but speak to a GP if your symptoms persist.

Ankylosing spondylitis
Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that mainly affects the spine and can cause pain and stiffness in other parts of the body.
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Gout is a type of arthritis. It causes sudden pain and swelling in your joints, often with swollen red skin.
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Joint hypermobility syndrome
Joint hypermobility syndrome is when you have very flexible joints, which causes joint pain.
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Lymphoedema develops when there’s a blockage in the lymphatic system, causing swelling and aching in the limbs and often leading to mobility and skin problems.
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Osteomalacia prevents your bones from hardening.
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Osteomyelitis is a painful infection of the bone, and why it’s important to get it treated as early as possible.
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Osteophytes are hard, bony lumps that grow on the ends of your bones or around your joints and can cause pain and stiffness.
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If you have osteoporosis, it means your bones are very weak and brittle, and prone to breaking easily.
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We explain why otosclerosis causes hearing loss and look at the treatment options that can help to improve and restore your hearing.
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