Pain Conditions: Acute and Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

If you have ever had a sprain, fracture, or direct blow to a muscle, then at least one point in your life you have felt musculoskeletal pain. Generally, musculoskeletal pain is classified as pain that affects the muscles, ligaments, joints, bursae, nerves, bones, and tendons. Musculoskeletal pain problems can be mild or severe, acute or chronic, and local to the neck, limb, or back or widespread throughout your body. Some patients with a musculoskeletal pain condition have limited movement and partial or full weakness of an extremity. It is common for many adult patients who suffer from musculoskeletal pain as a result of injury, aging, or a systemic disease to experience severe back and neck pain. Continue reading to learn about different types of musculoskeletal pain problems, associated symptoms, and common causes.

Types of Musculoskeletal Pain


Common Causes

Muscle Pain

Less intense pain in the form of a spasm or cramp.

Injury, an autoimmune reaction, loss of blood flow to the muscle, infection, or tumor. Fibromyalgia

Tendon and Ligament Pain

Less intense pain worsened when affected area is stretched or moved.

Tendons – tendinitis, tenosynovitis, lateral and medical epicondylitis, and injury.

Ligaments – injuries (sprains).

Bone Pain

Intense deep, penetrating, or dull pain.

Bone infection and bone tumors.

Bursa Pain

Inflammation-induced pain worsened by movement involving the bursa.


Joint Pain

Stiff, aching pain, often referred to as arthritic pain.

Inflammation (arthritis), autoimmune and vasculitic disorders, avascular necrosis of bone, and injury.

If you experience any of the symptoms described above, contact the pain management practice at the Regional Pain Institute. Our pain management physicians may perform simple tests for muscle contraction, muscle tone, reflexes, and more to determine an accurate diagnosis for the condition causing your pain. During preliminary consultations, our physicians may ask you a series of questions, such as “Does your pain worsen with motion?” as this is often indicative of a musculoskeletal disorder. They may ask you to identify the location of tenderness or site of inflammation. Although the answers to these questions may help determine the course of pain, they do not necessarily indicate its origin or cause. To reach an accurate diagnosis, our physicians will also evaluate the results of laboratory tests and x-rays and take into consideration the presence of other symptoms. If the source of your pain is determined and you are diagnosed with an acute or chronic musculoskeletal pain condition, the next step is to decide the best treatment option. At the Regional Pain Institute, there are a variety of advanced pain management techniques to effectively treat any musculoskeletal back and neck pain condition, provide symptomatic relief, and give patients a better quality of life.