What is Musculoskeletal Medicine?
Musculoskeletal Medicine (MSK medicine) is the diagnosis and treatment of problems arising from the musculoskeletal system. This includes injuries and diseases affecting the muscles, bones and joints of the limbs and spine. Approximately 30% of all GP consultations relate to problems with the musculoskeletal system.
Specialist MSK Medicine is carried out by physicians with special training in Sport & Exercise Medicine (SEM) and are uniquely equipped to manage these conditions. In addition to training in MSK Medicine, they may have training in Exercise Medicine and Osteopathic medicine which often has an important role in treating these conditions. MSK physicians manage over 80% of their patients without the need for further referral. In addition to their clinical skills these doctors often use diagnostic ultrasound in the clinic and are trained in the use of injections and other non-surgical techniques in their treatment. Many SEM doctors work with sports teams and professional athletes using techniques of diagnosis and treatment that may be transferred to benefit the general population.
Anyone with a problem affecting the musculoskeletal system, whatever the cause of the problem or their age may consult with an MSK doctor. MSK doctors do not just see patients with sports injuries. The patients with sports and exercise related injuries range from professional elite athletes to those taking occasional recreational exercise. MSK doctors see people with a huge range of problems, including work related injuries or symptoms such as work related upper limb disorder and other problems related to office or manual work.