PRIMARY CARE FOR WOMEN: Comprehensive Assessment of Common Musculoskeletal Disorders


  • Ana Maldonado PA, MPH,

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    • Ana Maldonado is currently Clinical Education Coordinator at the Planned Parenthood Mar Monte in San Jose, California. She has been active in primary care practice as a physician assistant and midwife for more than 10 years. She completed her physician assistant education in 1983 and her midwifery education in 1987, both at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. In 1988, she completed her master of public health degree at the San Jose State University. Ms. Maldonado is a member of the adjunct clinical teaching faculty of the Education Program Associates Inc., where she teaches “Common Adult Health Problems” and provides clinical supervision for midwifery students.

  • Mary Barger CNM, MPH

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    • Mary Barger is an Assistant Professor in the Health Services Department at Boston University School of Public Health, and a faculty member in the Nurse-Midwifery Education Program. In 1979, she received her nurse-midwifery education and her master of public health degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. Ms. Barger has been active in full-scope nurse-midwifery practice and education for the past 12 years and since 1991 has led the Boston University Nurse-Midwifery Education Program primary care curriculum development efforts.

Mary Barger, CNM, MPH, Boston University School of Public Health, Room A-207, 80 E. Concord St, Boston, MA 02118.


This article reviews the common musculoskeletal disorders that are likely to be encountered in the women's primary care setting. Basic anatomy and physiology of the musculoskeletal system are reviewed, and the assessment and treatment of complaints of strains, sprains, low back pain, chest pain, carpel tunnel syndrome, musculoskeletal pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis are discussed. Examples of low-technology treatment strategies are included.