This interactive, safe and anonymous online symptom checker, including some physical testing, will help you reach a possible diagnosis for your musculoskeletal problem, learn ways to improve your symptoms yourself and when to seek further healthcare advice. Click below to complete our Musculoskeletal Symptom Checker today!
Do you need help with managing your pain? Click on the body area that hurts for immediate advice and guidance to get better quicker.
Back pain is a very common problem, which affects 4 out of 5 of us at some point. Fortunately, most back pain is not due to anything serious and rarely needs a scan although multiple factors can contribute to it, including physical, mental and lifestyle aspects. The people who cope best with back pain are those who stay active and get on with life despite some pain.
Neck pain is a common problem – 2 out of 3 of us will experience it at some point. It’s not usually serious and most often eases on its own or with simple advice and neck exercises. Neck pain is often caused by a simple muscle strain or tension. Other causes include injury, such as whiplash, or gradual changes to the joints due to natural ageing.
Shoulder pain is common but it is rarely caused by arthritis. The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body and can be affected by a number of conditions. The most likely cause for shoulder pain is related to the deep tendons of the shoulder, which will improve although can take several months to get better.
Knee pain is a common problem for children and adults. There are many different causes for knee pain at different stages of life although most will improve with simple management and will not require surgery. Knee pain can be related to the joint or soft tissue structures including the ligaments or tendons. The hip and foot position can also contribute to knee problems.
Hip pain can affect people at all stages of life for different reason. Causes of hip pain can be due to the joint or surrounding soft tissue structures and usually get better with simple measures. Most cases of hip pain do not require X-rays or scans although there are occasions where these investigations may be needed.
Foot and Ankle Pain
The foot is a complex and hard-working structure which can be susceptible to overload type problems involving joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves. Sprains to the ankle or foot can be common causes for pain and usually get better reasonably quickly despite severe pain initially. Footwear and natural foot position can also influence ankle and foot problems.
Elbow pain is quite a common problem but it’s not usually a sign of arthritis. The most likely cause of elbow pain is related to the tendons that attach to either side of the elbow and linked to repetitive or excessive use of the wrist and forearm muscles. This will improve although can take several months to get better.
Wrist and Hand Pain
The hand is a complex and multi-functional structure with numerous anatomical structures that can be the cause for wrist and hand pain including the joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves. Different conditions will need slightly different management although often pain will improve gradually returning to using the hand normally again.
Persistent pain (sometimes called chronic pain) is described as pain that lasts for 3 months or more despite standard medical treatment. It is surprisingly common and affects 1 in 5 people and the cause for the ongoing pain is no longer related to tissue damage, but due to an over sensitive pain protective system.
Multiple Joint Pain
There are many causes of multiple joint pain. The possible causes will partly depend on your age and the causes for multiple joint pain in children are different to the causes in adults. Multiple joint pain may be completely harmless and only temporary problems although some causes may require medical investigations and a referral for you to see a specialist to confirm a diagnosis including long-term treatment in some cases.
Our NHS Mid and South Essex getUBetter app is a FREE and easy-to-use digital self-management support tool that guides you day-by-day through exercises and gives you tips to help your recovery from common musculoskeletal conditions and injuries including:
- Low back pain
- Back and leg pain
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Knee pain
- Hip pain
- Ankle pain
- Soft Tissue lower limb injury