Musculoskeletal Medicine

Joint and muscle pain can occur at any age.

As we get older this is more likely to occur, but there is lots that can be done to prevent this.  Staying active is important.  If you haven’t exercised regularly for a while, but are planning to start a new program we encourage you to discuss this with your doctor first.  Use it as a chance to review your health in general.

No one is too old to move or benefit from movement and it is possible to adapt physical activity to any age or limitations.  Variety in physical activity is important because different movements focus more on heart, lungs, strength and balance.  Exercise physiologists can help you design a program.

Often muscle pain can be treated with some simple physiotherapy exercises, but for more persistent symptoms you may need a combination of treatment including physiotherapy, medication and steroid injections.  Surgery is usually considered a last resort for when these approaches have failed. 

Sometimes joint and muscle pain can be caused by underlying medical conditions.  Common symptoms can be stiffness lasting almost an hour in the morning, swollen, red joints and pain that improves with activity.  Checking with your GP can help to determine if you need further investigation for one of these conditions.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Age related arthritis is a common problem particularly in the knees, hips and fingers. This is related to wear and tear and more likely to happen as you get older. Movement of the joints and strengthening the muscles around these joints is important to reduce pain. Ice or heat packs can help as well as paracetamol or non steroidal anti-inflammatories. Weight loss also helps to reduce the load on the joint.

No. Back pain after an injury may need rest for a few days but then it is important to be as active as possible to prevent stiffness and muscle weakness. You may need pain relief initially to help you move and get out of bed. Heat packs and TENS machines can also be helpful.

Often people can feel worried that the pain they are experiencing is a sign of further damage happening. If your doctor has ruled out other causes of back pain and your pain is a result of a bulging disc or other musculoskeletal problems, then we know this is not the case. Instead, the nerves in your back are sending off pain signals to your brain but there is no damage happening. Movement and strengthening are the best treatments for back pain.