Medical Specialists of the Muscular System

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  • 0:00 Muscles
  • 0:29 Muscular System Specialist
  • 1:41 Neurologists &…
  • 3:23 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Have you ever pulled a muscle or ripped a tendon? Have you ever had prolonged and inexplicable muscle pain? Maybe you couldn't even move a muscle after an injury. This lesson will define some of the medical specialists who treat these problems.


If you've ever played a sport competitively and for a long time, then you have surely had some sort of muscle injury. Even if you haven't played sports and are simply a daily jogger, you've probably had your fair share of problems. Whom did you go see for the injury? Do you recall?

If you don't, this lesson may help jog your memory a bit. It will help cover medical specialists of the muscular system and other systems related to the muscular system.

Muscular System Specialist

So there are two basic groups of individuals who deal with muscle problems. Some of these specialists are primarily involved in treating injured muscles. And others are involved in treating problems that affect muscles indirectly. Let's start with the former, where the muscle itself is injured.

Let's say that you went running and felt a bad muscle pull. You stopped, limped back home, and then likely scheduled an appointment with one of or a combination of the following.

You might start with a sports medicine physician, a doctor who specializes in treating sports-related injuries of the musculoskeletal system. This means they can help diagnose disorders of the muscles, bones, and joints.

Then you may go see a physiatrist, a physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation. The physiatrist's goal is to restore proper function to your muscle by using a combination of exercises, massage, and so on to get you back up and running as soon as possible.

Or perhaps you'll work closely with an exercise physiologist, a specialist, working under the supervision of a physician, who develops and implements an exercise program and administers medical tests to enhance physical fitness.

Neurologists and Rheumatologists

All of the individuals we just went over must understand the intricate balance between muscles, bones, joints, and tendons and how they relate to the muscular system. That is to say, muscles connect to bones via tendons in order to move the bones. And the only way the muscles can move is if they have a proper nerve supply.

This is why, even if a muscle isn't injured directly, a nerve injury from something like a car crash can leave a muscle paralyzed and dysfunctional. Or in some cases, an immune system disorder affects the muscles directly and so the immune system must be treated in order to help heal the muscles indirectly. In such cases, other medical specialists may need to be consulted in order to restore proper muscle function.

For example, if a nerve innervating a muscle is damaged, you might consult a neurologist, a physician specializing in diagnosing and treating disorders of the nervous system. 'Neurologist' comes from 'neuro-,' which means nerve, and '-ologist,' for one who studies or is a specialist in.

Or if the immune system causes tendonitis, the inflammation of the tendons, or prolonged muscle pain, then a rheumatologist would be consulted. A rheumatologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the muscles, tendons, joints, bones, and nerves that are marked by inflammation, degeneration, or metabolic derangement. This means rheumatologists can treat everything from musculoskeletal pain disorders to osteoarthritis and more.

Lesson Summary

Now do you recall whom you went to see for that muscle problem?

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