Approach to Musculoskeletal Examination

In: Skills in Rheumatology [Internet]. Singapore: Springer; 2021. Chapter 2.


Musculoskeletal (MSK) symptoms are one of the most common reasons for patients to seek medical attention. Despite the high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in all fields of clinical practice, doctors continue to describe poor confidence in their musculoskeletal clinical skills. Here in this chapter an overview of the epidemiology of MSK disorders and the current status of MSK competency skills among clinicians will be discussed. Then a general approach to MSK examination will be introduced. The rest of the chapter will address detailed approach to upper limb and lower and back joints examination. Each section will start with a brief approach to pains originating from each site. Good history is part of the MSK examination.

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