Pathologies Of The Skeletal System

Published on 12th June 2021


As ITEC added pathologies into their syllabus and changed the level 3 Certificate to Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology for the Complemtary Therapist, we thought you would find this list a useful revision aid to your studies.

Ankylosing spondylitis

An inflammation disease that over time can cause some of the vertebrae in the spine to fuse.  The fusing makes the spine less flexible and can result in a hunch-forward posture. If ribs are affected, it can be difficult to breathe deeply.


Bone cancer develops in the skeletal system and destroys tissue.

A bone tumour is a neoplastic growth of tissue in bone.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A compression on the median nerve where it passes over the carpel bones through a passage at the front of the wrist.  It may be caused by continual repetitive movements or by fluid retention.

Cervical spondylitis

A condition that causes deterioration of the vertebrae, discs, and ligaments in the neck or cervical spine.

The edges of the vertebrae often develop bone spurs called osteophytes. Over time, the discs get thinner, and their ability to absorb shock is lost, increasing the risk of symptoms.


Firm, smooth and round or oval swellings that arise under the skin surface, over joints or on coverings of tendons in the hands and wrists. They contain a clear, jellylike and usually sticky fluid. 

Prolapsed intervertebral (slipped) disc

Occurs when the outer fibres if the intervertebral disc are injured, and the nucleus pulposus ruptures out of its enclosed space and presses on nerves.


Inflammation of a synovial membrane ? a layer of connective tissue that lines a joint, such as the hop, knee, ankle or shoulder.  It is caused by some types of arthritis and other diseases.

Tooth disorders

Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become less dense and more likely to fracture. The bone in the jaw supports and anchors the teeth. When the jawbone becomes less dense, tooth loss can occur,


A neck injury due to forceful, rapid back and forth movement of the neck. Common symptoms include neck pain, stiffness, headaches and pain and muscle spasms in the shoulders and arms.

Loss of limbs ? prostheses

A functional replacement for an amputated or congenitally malformed or missing limb.  Intended to restore the normal functions of the missing body part.


Softening of the bones, typically through a deficiency of vitamin D or calcium.

Osteogenesis imperfecta

Also known as ?brittle bone disease?. A group of inherited connective tissue disorders, all of which result from mutations that affect collagen in connective tissue in the body. Bones fracture easily, often from mild trauma or with no apparent cause.

Psoriatic Arthritis

A form of arthritis that affects people who have psoriasis. Typically causes affected joints to become swollen, stiff and painful. If severe there is a risk of the joints becoming permanently damaged or deformed.

Spinal stenosis

A abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal or neural foramen that results in pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots.

Recognition and possible causes of postural deformities to include:

Postural deformities are the exaggerated curvature of the spine.


Examples of this type of congenital spine deformity are congenital scoliosis, congenital kyphosis, congenital lordosis and Klippel-Feil syndrome. Congenital scoliosis and congenital kyphosis, and congenital lordosis can also be examples of a failure of formation.


Physical stress on the spine as a result of every day activity


Injury or trauma from surgery


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