Pain in the bones, muscles, or joints is a common problem. In many cases, it is due to a minor muscular injury, and drugs are used to relieve the pain while the problem gets better. More serious disorders may cause persistent pain or disability, and long-term medication is needed to control the symptoms.
The first two articles in this section cover nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and locally acting corticosteroids. These drugs can relieve symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders, such as inflammation and pain, but have no effect on the underlying causes.
Drugs used to treat specific joint and bone disorders are discussed in the next two articles. Antirheumatic drugs are commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. They can slow or halt joint damage, thereby preventing the disability that may be the long-term result of this disorder. The next article covers drugs for bone disorders. These drugs prevent or halt the abnormal growth or breakdown of bone that occurs in bone disorders such as Paget’s disease and osteoporosis.
The final article in this section covers muscle relaxants, drugs that are used to relieve muscle spasms resulting from a variety of disorders.
For information on the structure and function of the musculoskeletal system, see Musculoskeletal System.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.
The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.