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MSK 101: An Overview of Musculoskeletal Conditions

Author: CCA Staff Team Date: Sep 23, 2015 Back Care Tips, Blog, Healthy Aging, MSK health tips
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msk 101Musculoskeletal (MSK) health is an important part of your daily life. That’s why educating Canadians on the benefits of a healthy MSK system is an important priority for the CCA. As we have discussed in previous blogs, there are many ways to help prevent MSK conditions, and the more you know, the more you can do to enhance your overall health and wellbeing.

This post will give you some brief insight about MSK conditions.

What is the MSK system?

The musculoskeletal (MSK) system is a complex network of muscles, bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments that offers us the ability to perform our daily activities. The MSK system supports literally everything we do, and provides structure, protection and function to the body. As you can imagine, without a healthy MSK system, it becomes very difficult to do the activities you love.

What is an MSK condition?

Musculoskeletal conditions include a wide range of disorders that can impact the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and connective tissue. It may result from physical trauma, or other causes such as overuse. Injuries are considered acute, subacute, chronic or recurrent depending on the duration or pattern of presentation. MSK conditions commonly affect body parts such as the head and neck, shoulders, mid-back, low back and pelvis, elbows and hands/wrists. Unfortunately, if not managed promptly, MSK injuries may become chronic and result in debilitating pain and dysfunction. Due to the high prevalence of these injuries, MSK conditions are the second greatest cause of disability worldwide!

How Can MSK Conditions Impact Your Health?

MSK conditions can impact Canadians of all ages! Yet, the prevalence of these conditions tends to increase with age and may complicate the ability to complete simple and essential daily tasks. Inevitably, aging is a risk factor for developing MSK injuries due to, for example, the progressive loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia) and a decline in muscle strength that increases the likelihood of injury from sudden falls1. Unfortunately, data suggests that falls have increased significantly and can result in fractures and even hospitalizations2. Therefore, to ensure healthy aging, Canadians are urged to keep moving and maintain a healthy MSK system to ensure mobility and independent living for many years to come.

How To Prevent MSK Conditions Moving Forward?

Healthy aging is a key priority for everyone. There are certainly ways to help enhance our chances, including maintaining an active lifestyle. Physical activity and exercise not only are a great way to maintain a healthy weight, prevent chronic conditions and manage stress, they also help maintain strength, endurance and mobility as we age. These can be critical components to preventing falls which can lead to developing an MSK condition and pain. We have many other tips to help you prevent injury or pain from occurring. Most of these tips are centred on an active lifestyle, and taking extra precautions when being active.

How Can a Chiropractor Help?

Visiting a chiropractor to discuss how you can prevent injuries or manage any pain or dysfunction may be a great start to healthy aging. Chiropractors not only treat MSK conditions, but they can help guide you with preventative measures as well. You may not be thinking about back pain now, but it’s important to always keep the future health of your back in mind. Visiting a chiropractor for guidance and treatment can be key to prevention.

Remember, we have your back and we want everyone to enjoy life feeling happy and healthy. Learn more about how a chiropractor can help you with preventative and MSK care.

1. https://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/seniors-aines/publications/public/injury-blessure/seniors_falls-chutes_aines/index-fra.php
2. International Life Sciences Institute, Healthy Lifestyles, Diet, Physical Activity, and Health: Europe Concise Monograph Series, https://www.ilsi.org/Europe/Publications/ILSIcm11-004_Diet08.pdf.
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