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Introduction to Symptoms of Musculoskeletal Disorders

By

Alexandra Villa-Forte

, MD, MPH, Cleveland Clinic

Last full review/revision Feb 2021| Content last modified Feb 2021
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Musculoskeletal symptoms are very common and may arise from joints, bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, or bursas (see Introduction to the Biology of the Musculoskeletal System).

Common symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders include pain, weakness, stiffness, joint noises, and decreased range of motion. Inflammation may cause pain, swelling, warmth, tenderness, impaired function, and sometimes redness of the overlying skin. Inflammation can result from many different musculoskeletal disorders, such as autoimmune disorders (for example, rheumatoid arthritis) and infections. When inflammation affects a joint, fluid may accumulate inside the joint, causing pain, swelling, and decreased range of motion.

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Ankylosing Spondylitis
Spondyloarthritis refers to a group of connective tissue diseases that cause prominent joint inflammation. Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of spondyloarthritis characterized by inflammation of the spine, large joints, and fingers and toes, resulting in stiffness and pain. Which of the following groups is most likely to develop ankylosing spondylitis?
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