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Musculoskeletal System

Inflammation is the response that the living tissue gives to damages. The blood flow increases in a inflamed tissue, and as a result, temperature increases and redness develops; water and cells leak into in the tissue and cause swelling. Inflammation is characterized by redness (rubor), increased temperature (calor), swelling (tumor), pain (dolor) and dysfunction of the affected organs.

Joint Diseases Caused by Inflammation

Rheumatoid arthritis: It is a chronic inflammatory joint disease. It progressively damages the joint cartilage, the bone tissue under the cartilage, joint capsules and ligaments in the advanced stages; it is chronic and cause is not known. The damages it causes marked degenerations especially in fingers and toes. The fingers or toes shift from their planes. The damages are irreversible.

Osteoarthritis: Associated with inflammation of the joint, it is a degenerative joint disease, which starts with the damage of the cartilage and develops by forming osteosclerosis on the bone tissue under the cartilage and osteophytes on the edge of the joint surface. Its cause is unknown. It mostly inlovles knee (gonarthrosis) and hip joint (coxarthrosis).

Ankylosing spondilitis: It is a chronic progressive polyarthritis that develops on the spine and surrounding structures and ultimately leads to ankylosis (bending of the back). It causes calcification of the spine and surrounding soft tissue. The disease advances for 10-20 years and often cannot be controlled. Early diagnosis and treatment may reduce the rate of irreversible degeneration. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used to alleviate complaints such as pain and motion restrictions accompanying the disease.

Smooth Muscle Cramps

The muscles consist of fibres, which ensure motion with their stretching ability. There are three types of muscle structures;

1) Striated muscles
2) Smooth muscles
3) Heart muscle
Striated muscles are present in the structures requiring voluntary motion; smooth muscles are in internal organs requiring involuntary motion. Hearth muscle has a structure with involuntary motion although it is a striated muscle.

Cramps (Spasms): A painful syndrome caused by the shortening of the muscle fibres by contraction. Causes include cold weather, heavy exercising, diseases and poisoning. Cramps can involve both striated and smooth muscles.

Smooth muscle cramps: Cramps seen in internal organs such as bowels, ureter (caused by kidney stones) and uterus.  Spasmolitic agents are used in the treatment of cramps (spasms). To relieeve the pain seen during a cramp, pain killers can be used.
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