Musculoskeletal Concerns

In Foyle’s 2008 article entitled, Musculoskeletal Conditions, she notes that as she was working in a hospital, she noticed that many people were coming in with fractured ankles.  In aiming to better understand the musculoskeletal system, Foyle researched some facts related to common health conditions.  In collecting information on the most widespread diseases, she learned that the most common musculoskeletal conditions include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, fractures and sport injuries.  Foyle learned that at some point in their lives, 85% of the population is affected by osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease.  Although not much is known about the cause of rheumatoid arthritis, there are some supposed environmental and genetic influences. 

In regard to nursing care, the RICE mnemonic is often used, helping nurses to remember to treat these conditions with rest, ice, compression, and elevation.  The purpose of rest is to reduce the swelling in the diseased area and to encourage an increase in blood supply.  Utilizing ice on the affected site reduces inflammation and spasms.  Compression encourages drainage and reduces swelling, and elevation also decreases swelling and relieves associated pain.  When considering the risk of complications, it is essential to monitor for neurovascular deficit, including an assessment of the five Ps: pain, paralysis, paraesthesia, pulse, and pallor.

This article serves as a good overview of some musculoskeletal concerns and the treatments and considerations involved for the general population.  The helpful hints and surface level insights are good in order to introduce a person to an array of musculoskeletal concerns within a short and general article.  The health assessment provided by Foyle is a good basic overview, however, a more in depth assessment would have to be made in order to best diagnose, serve, and treat patients with these musculoskeletal issues.  Foyle provides the reader with a good stepping stone, and the reader in need of more in depth information would have to further enter the waters of research.


Foyle, L.  (2008).  Musculoskeletal Conditions.  Nursing Standard 23(10), 59.

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