chapter  16
16 Pages

Mechanisms for Pain and Injury in Musculoskeletal Disorders

Painful musculoskeletal disorders are a common problem in today’s society, affecting an estimated one-

third of the population. The societal costs (including litigation, work-lost, treatment and disability) for

painful musculoskeletal disorders are staggering. Financially, considering all chronic pain syndromes

together, there is an annual cost of $90 billion.2 For example, the cost of low back pain alone has

been estimated between $40-50 billion annually.20,21 Until a better understanding of the pathomechan-

isms in chronic pain and the injuries which cause them is defined, the effective prevention and treatment

of these disorders and their symptoms will remain elusive. It is the intent of this chapter to review and

highlight traditional and more recently emerging theories explaining pain sensation, signaling and trans-

mission in the context of injury and musculoskeletal disorders.