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Musculoskeletal System - Article Example

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Musculoskeletal System

Since this system is comprised of bone and muscle, it is also responsible for giving mass or shape to our body and protecting our internal organs. This system is also responsible for storing calcium in bones and producing red and white blood cells as well as corpuscles (Judge, 2007).
There are four common conditions that affect this system and these are osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and injuries relating to muscles from strenuous activities such as with sports. Some of the conditions are more related to age and the general degeneration of tendons and ligaments, such as with osteoarthritis that damages tendons and ligaments due to the bearing down of weight on the joints (Judge, 2007).
Before diagnosing musculoskeletal conditions, it is important to make a patient assessment first. Taking note of the patients' past medical history, family history and social history need to be taken in consideration because these play an important factor in some musculoskeletal conditions. The medication or drug history of the patient should also be assessed because some drugs cause muscular degeneration. Certain ethnic groups are also predisposed to conditions that affect this system due to their diet, an example of which are Asians who lack Vitamin D in their diets and are at high risk for osteoporosis (Judge, 2007).
Next is the pain assessment where the mnemonic PQRST is used. The mnemonic stands for Provoke, Quality, Region, Severity and Timing. These keywords are used in order for the patient to describe the pain, for example if the pain is provoked by sudden movement, or where the pain is localized. Once the description of the pain is noted, physical examination can be done on the affected region where pain is reported. General inspection of the affected region requires the patient and the nurse to assess how much pain or swelling there is and if the patient can move or mobilize the affected part without adding more injury. This inspection may also require assistance especially for those who may find it difficult to move because of the pain or swelling.
One of the common methods in managing sprains that affect the musculoskeletal system is to cold or hot compress the affected area. Resting and elevating the affected region is also one of the common methods of management in order to alleviate the pain and swelling. This is for minor conditions that help alleviate the pain and swelling. Monitoring the affected region for possible complication is the next step in the management process if the pain aggravates or the swelling gets worse. In monitoring the pain or swelling, checking the temperature of the swelling is important so that it can be checked for further infections.
Taking pain killers like analgesics can help in the management of musculoskeletal conditions. The prescribing of analgesics depend on the gravity of the pain and if it will not counteract with any medication currently taken by the patient. There are non-medication types of pain management such as positioning of the body, distractions or massage of the affected area.
Another part of management is immobilization and mobilization. The affected part may need to be rested or immobilized for a few days in order for the swelling to ...Show more

Summary

'Assessing and Managing Patients with Musculoskeletal Conditions' is a journal article in the September 2007 issue of Nursing Standard. Its author Nicola Judge is a lecturer in adult nursing in the St. Bartholomew School of Nursing and Midwifery. The article discusses the anatomy and physiology of the musculoskeletal system and the management of conditions that affect this system…
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