Sticks and Stones: The Impact of Language in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2018 Jul;48(7):519-522. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2018.0610.


Throughout the often complex and challenging process of musculoskeletal rehabilitation, the words that we use can have a significant impact on the clinical outcome. Words contain both the ability to heal and harm. Gaining an improved understanding of the frequently hidden influence that language can have on musculoskeletal rehabilitation is of paramount importance. This Viewpoint article highlights the powerful consequences of the words that we use in clinical practice and discusses the practical considerations for adapting the current language of musculoskeletal rehabilitation. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2018;48(7):519-522. doi:10.2519/jospt.2018.0610.

Keywords: clinical practice; communication; vocabulary.

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / psychology*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Terminology as Topic*