As you examine the patient case studies in this module’s Resources, consider how you might assess and treat patients presenting symptoms of neurological and musculoskeletal disorders.

Walden University| NURS 6521 – Advanced Pharmacology | Walden University

These conditions affect the nervous system including the brain and spinal cord. Neurological disorders may cause headaches, dizziness and numbness in the extremities. To assess a patient with neurological symptoms, healthcare providers may perform neurological exams, such as assessing the patient’s reflexes, muscle strength, coordination, and sensation. To diagnose neurological disorders, imaging tests such as CT scans or MRIs may be performed.

The treatment of neurological disorders is dependent on each individual condition. It may involve medications, physical therapy or occupational therapy. For example, patients with epilepsy may be prescribed anticonvulsant medications to prevent seizures, while patients with Parkinson’s disease may be prescribed medications to increase dopamine levels in the brain.

Musculoskeletal diseases are conditions that impact the bones, muscles and joints. Musculoskeletal conditions can cause pain, stiffness and swelling as well as a limited range of movement. To assess a patient with musculoskeletal symptoms, healthcare providers may perform physical exams, such as assessing the patient’s range of motion and muscle strength. To diagnose musculoskeletal problems, imaging tests like MRIs and Xrays may be performed.

There are many options for treating musculoskeletal conditions, including medications, physical therapy or occupational therapy. Patients with osteoarthritis, for example, may receive nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs), to lower pain and inflammation. However, fracture patients may need surgery to align the fracture.

Assessment and treatment of patients suffering from neurological or musculoskeletal problems requires thorough knowledge. It may also require multidisciplinary care.

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