Diseases and Disorders Skeletal And Muscular Systems

Published on 2nd October 2020


As therapists it is important that we recognise the signs and symptoms of many pathologies (diseases and disorders). In this email we outline two for each of the muscular and skeletal systems. It is now a requirement in anatomy and physiology courses that this topic is covered and we cover it in an extensive drag and drop exercise. Previously our a and p students needed to research and write about specific pathologies and these notes cover what is required for each answer.

Skeletal System

Paget’s Disease


Chronic disease of the bones that affects the elderly.


Paget’s disease causes the normal cycle of bone growth to be disrupted leading to weakness and deformity mainly in the long bones and skull.

Signs and symptoms

There may be no symptoms or symptoms may include susceptibility to fracture and/or pain.

There is no known cure.



A disease in which the bones soften and weaken – it is a disease of childhood


Most usually due to lack of Vitamin D or calcium.

Signs and symptoms

It can cause pain in bones and long bones to be bowed and/or abnormal curvatures of the spine.


Muscular System



Tetanus is a bacterial infection, also known as lockjaw.


An acute infectious disease usually contracted from a contaminated wound.

Signs and symptoms

Symptoms are prolonged spasms of the muscle fibers starting in the jaw and progressing downwards through the body.  Mortality is high - tetanus usually results in prolonged spasm of the respiratory tract which results in death.

Muscular Dystrophy


A group of muscle diseases (30+) in which certain muscles waste and weaken.


The muscular dystrophies are almost always genetic (inherited).  The diseases are progressive and there is as yet no cure.

Signs and symptoms

Progressive weakening of muscle. The condition may also lead to mood swings and learning difficulties. Gene therapy may hold the key to a cure in the future. Physiotherapy and orthopedic intervention play a part in treatment.


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