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General Body Pain - Dr. John Atwater

At OSA, we know any body pain can get in the way of the activities and relationships you cherish most. Because of this, we believe in integrated care to take care of your entire well-being.

More than 1.5 billion people around the world suffer from chronic body pain, and 6 out of 10 American patients experience severe breakthrough pain that negative impacts their quality of life.

Our experienced orthopedic doctors and staff work with patients to develop treatment plans that suit their needs and lifestyle. We focus on giving you control over your path to recovery.

An Overview of the Human Body

The human body is made up of several types of systems that work together to help your body function correctly. Here, we’ll cover the main six.

Skeletal system:

  • This includes all of your bones and joints. The skeletal system helps give your body structure, lets you move, and keeps your internal organs safe. Humans have 206 bones.

Muscular system:

  • Your muscles help you move. You have more than 600 muscles, and they do everything from pump blood to help you lift weights. Some of your muscles are voluntary muscles; you need to think about moving these. Others, like your heart, don’t require any thinking.
  • There are three types of muscles: smooth, cardiac, and skeletal. Smooth muscles work behind the scenes. For example, they work in the digestive system, allowing your food to go through your stomach. The cardiac muscle pumps blood throughout your body. Finally, skeletal muscles are voluntary. You control what they can do.

Nervous system:

  • This is the body’s communication system. Your brain dictates how your body functions, and your nervous system relays this to the rest of your body.
  • The nervous system tells your brain what is happening in the rest of your body. For example, if you touch something hot, your nervous system communicates this to the brain, which then tells your body what to do.
  • The autonomic nervous system controls the body’s automatic functions, such as breathing, sweating, and digesting.
  • The sympathetic nervous system deals with stress by telling the body to produce adrenaline. This is called the flight-or-fight response.
  • The parasympathetic nervous system tells your body to rest. It slows your heart rate, helps you digest food, and assists in conserving energy.

Circulatory system:

  • Your heart, blood vessels, and blood make up the cardiovascular system.
  • Blood from the heart delivers nutrients and oxygen to your body and helps fight disease.

Digestive system:

  • This system includes everything that helps you process food and drinks.
  • It begins with your mouth, followed by your throat, liver, gallbladder, stomach, pancreas, small and large intestines, appendix, and anus.
  • Each of these body parts includes other parts that help transport your food, preserve nutrients, and expel waste.

Respiratory System:

  • This system houses the lungs, which inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. The trachea (or windpipe) filters the air and sends it to the bronchi (two tubes that lead to each lung).
  • Oxygen fills the 600 million alveoli that are inside the lungs, and transports the oxygen to your bloodstream.

Other systems include integumentary (skin, hair, and nails), immune, reproductive, endocrine, and urinary systems.

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Causes of General Body Pain Conditions

It’s difficult to say, because there are many things that happen inside the body.  For the most part, general body pain condition are caused by:

  • Genetics
  • Obesity
  • Exposure to bacteria or viruses
  • Lack of exercise
  • Sports injury or accidents
  • Old age
  • Smoking
  • Nutrient deficits

How General Body Pain Conditions are Diagnosed

Your doctor will ask you various questions about your history, lifestyle, and how your symptoms affect your daily life. These questions and observations can help diagnose your condition, but they also help doctors narrow down types of treatments that would be most suitable for your unique experience.

Here are some ways you can help your doctor:

  • Bring all medical records, scans, and recent laboratory results to your appointment. This is important!
  • Tell your doctor your symptoms and how long you’ve had them.
  • Tell your doctor if you’ve experienced any major lifestyle changes.
  • Tell your doctor if you have any other health problems, even if they don’t seem related.

Many doctors will want to see what’s going on inside your body. They may order one or more of the following:

  • X-rays
  • MRIs
  • CT Scans
  • Blood tests
  • Muscle strength tests
  • Urine tests
  • Endoscopies

The videos in this section are for general body pain conditions that can be addressed at OSA; however, they may also be under specific specialties.

Surgical and Non-Surgical Treatments

For many patients, surgery is the last resort. In fact, many patients find that over time their body pain gets better by itself or with some simple treatments. Other times, however, the pain will persist despite non-surgical and surgical treatments.

Non-surgical treatments include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Acupuncture
  • Sufficient sleep
  • Medicine
  • Exercise
  • Herbal therapy
  • Drug therapy
  • CBT
  • Nutritional changes
  • Insulin or hormone therapy, especially if pain is diabetic in nature

The procedures included in these videos may be found in some other specialties; however, they also come up with non-specific orthopedic or musculoskeletal injuries or diseases.

Talk to your doctor if you would like to try any of these treatments. He or she can help you develop a safe, long-term plan for better health.

If the symptoms of your condition worsen or refuse to go away despite your attempts, you may want to discuss surgery with your doctor. He or she can help guide you through surgical options for your body pain.