An adult’s musculoskeletal system is made up of 206 bones and more than 600 muscles, connected by ligaments, tendons and soft tissues. It lets us walk, run, sit and move throughout our lives. A musculoskeletal condition is a disorder or injury that impacts our body’s movement.
A quarter of adults live with a musculoskeletal condition, like back pain, arthritis or fibromyalgia. These make up around 30% of GP consultations. The number of patients is increasing rapidly due to our ageing population.
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. Read about the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis and treatment options.
A bunion is a bony lump, found on the inside of the foot at the base of the big toe. The lump is caused by a deformity of the joint that connects the big toe to the foot. Find out more about how they’re caused and treated.
Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that cushions your joints. Read on about the symptoms and how to treat it.
Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when there’s too much pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. It causes tingling, numbness, weakness and pain. Read more about the causes and treatment.
Costochondritis is inflammation around the breast, which causes uncomfortable chest pain and swelling. Read more about the symptoms and when to seek help.
Ehlers-Danlos (EDS) is a group of genetic conditions. It’s caused by a faulty gene that causes your body to produce weak or not enough collagen, leading to overly flexible joints and fragile skin. Read about the causes and treatments.
A frozen shoulder is stiffness caused by inflammation of the tissue around the shoulder joint. Read more about what causes it and how it’s treated.
A ganglion cyst is a lump under the skin, usually surrounding a joint. It may cause some pain or irritation but isn’t harmful. Discover the symptoms and treatments available.
Gout is a type of arthritis. It causes sudden pain and swelling in your joints, often with swollen red skin. The big toe is often affected first, but gout can also affect your feet, knees, hands, wrists and elbows.
Joint hypermobility syndrome is when you have very flexible joints, which causes joint pain. You might refer to yourself as being double-jointed, as you’re particularly supple and can move your limbs into positions others might find impossible. Read more about the causes, symptoms, and how to treat joint hypermobility syndrome.
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. Find out why it happens and what can help.
Osteomalacia causes weak bones. Find out more about the symptoms and how it’s treated.
Find out about what causes osteomyelitis, a painful infection of the bone, and why it’s important to get it treated as early as possible.
Osteophytes, also called bone spurs, are hard, bony lumps that grow on the ends of your bones. They don't always lead to problems, but sometimes they cause pain and stiffness. Find out why they develop and how they're treated.
If you have osteoporosis, it means your bones are very weak and brittle, and prone to breaking easily. We explain what treatment is available, and what you can do to help yourself.
We explain why otosclerosis causes hearing loss and look at the treatment options that can help to improve and restore your hearing.
Peripheral neuropathy is damage to the nerves in the peripheral areas of your body. Learn the symptoms, causes and treatment.
Plantar fasciitis is irritation of the plantar fascia on the sole of the foot. Read on about the causes, symptoms and treatments
Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory condition that causes pain and stiffness in muscles on both sides of the body. Discover the symptoms, treatments and when to seek help.
Repetitive strain injury causes pain following repeated similar movements like typing, decorating, hairdressing or playing tennis. Read on to find out how to recognise it and how you can help your symptoms.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term condition that typically affects the hands, feet and wrists. Find out more about the symptoms and how it’s treated.
Sciatica is pain along your lower back to your feet. It’s caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. Find out about the causes and treatments.
Scoliosis is where the spine curves to the side, a condition most often seen in children. We explain how scoliosis can be diagnosed and what treatment is available.
Shin splints are a pain along your shinbone (tibia) – the large bone in the front of the lower leg – usually caused by exercise. Learn more about the symptoms and how to prevent it.
Slipped discs are when the soft pads of tissue between the bones of your spine move out of place. These discs can press on nerves and cause severe pain. Most slipped discs get better with gentle exercise and painkillers. Read on to discover the symptoms and treatments.
Spondylolisthesis is a back problem, where the bones of the spine, called vertebrae, slip forwards.
Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a condition that stops the jaw moving normally. Learn more about the signs, symptoms and treatments.
Tendonitis is when a tendon (tissue that connects muscle to bone) becomes inflamed after it’s been injured. It can cause varying degrees of pain and make it difficult to move the joint. Learn more about the symptoms and how it’s treated.
Trigger finger is when the tendons in your fingers become swollen or inflamed. This can lead to a catching or locking sensation when you bend your finger and it can be difficult to move it back. Learn more about the causes and treatments here.
Whiplash is a neck injury caused by sudden head movements usually in a traffic accident. It should last less than 2-3 months but can last over a year if severe.