Nursing – Portions of the Gastrointestinal and Musculoskeletal Disorder

Portions of the gastrointestinal tract affected

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that has been shown to affect only the rectum and colon parts of the gastrointestinal tract. It has been demonstrated that inflammatory bowel disease attacks the innermost parts of the colon and rectum (Schoelmerich, 2006). On the other hand, Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that could attack all portions of the alimentary canal (the gastrointestinal tract).

Difference in treatment

Anti-inflammatory drugs are used to treat ulcerative colitis. The drugs disrupt specific components of the immune system believed to be involved in the pathophysiology of the inflammatory disease. In severe cases of the disease, the colon or rectum could be removed using surgical procedures (Schoelmerich, 2006). On the other hand, Crohn’s disease has no cure. However, treatment approaches aim at controlling symptoms and preventing the inflammatory disease from relapsing (Schoelmerich, 2006).

The severity of the two bowel disorders

Crohn’s disease is a more severe bowel inflammatory disorder than ulcerative colitis (Schoelmerich, 2006). Crohn’s disease could affect all portions of the alimentary canal. This implies that it could be difficult to treat or manage the disease when it has attacked several portions of the gastrointestinal tract. For example, treating the mouth, small intestines, large intestines, and rectum at the same time could be challenging. The fact that the disease develops over time (chronically) makes it difficult to start early treatment that could eliminate the inflammatory disease from the alimentary canal. On the other hand, ulcerative colitis is not characterized by chronic manifestations. There are tested drugs and surgical procedures used to eliminate the disease from the gastrointestinal tract (Schoelmerich, 2006). Therefore, it is easier to manage ulcerative colitis than Crohn’s disease.

Musculoskeletal disorder and intervertebral disc disease

Signs and symptoms

Intervertebral disc disease is a disorder of the vertebral discs in the spinal cord. It manifests in the form of low back pain. It occurs when the vertebral discs protrude, extrude, or sequestrate (Coates, 2000). A patient presenting with intervertebral disc disease has the following signs and symptoms:

  1. Pain that disappears when the patient sits in a recumbent position
  2. Abrupt pain
  3. Pain that occurs after prolonged sitting or standing
  4. Less intensive pain that leads to severe low back pain
  5. Referred pain
  6. Sharp pain

On the other hand, musculoskeletal disorders develop over time, and they affect the musculoskeletal system of the body. The musculoskeletal system consists of bones, nerves, and muscles. Ligaments and tendons are essential for linkages formed in the musculoskeletal system. It has been shown that most musculoskeletal disorders are caused by fatigue related to work. A patient presenting with the musculoskeletal disorder has the following signs and symptoms:

  1. Overworked muscles
  2. Regular pain
  3. Frequent fatigue
  4. Disrupted sleep patterns
  5. Muscle twitching or burning


Musculoskeletal disorders and intervertebral disc diseases have different treatment approaches. Musculoskeletal disorders are managed using manual therapies and medications. Manual therapies are aimed at correcting spinal alignment problems (Coates, 2000). The other tested approaches are chiropractic care, occupational therapy, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, and osteopathic manipulation. Medications used to treat the disorders are anti-inflammatory drugs. On the other hand, intervertebral disc disease is treated using salicylates and anti-inflammatory drugs (Coates, 2000). Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to reduce the amount of pain experienced by patients presenting with intervertebral disc disease. In addition, surgical approaches could be used in patients who do not show a good response after 6 weeks of chemotherapy (Coates, 2000).


Coates, J. R. (2000). Intervertebral disk disease. The Veterinary clinics of North America. Small animal practice30(1), 77.

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