Pain in the rheumatic diseases. Practical aspects of diagnosis and treatment.
Patients with rheumatic disease experience pain that can be intense, persistent, and disabling. This pain is frequently multifactorial in origin and has both central and peripheral components. Because of the array of conditions that can cause musculoskeletal pain, patient management must begin with a complete clinical assessment that identifies possible etiologies and measures objective findings against subjective complaints. Especially in patients with known rheumatic disease, the possibility of concurrent pain of central origin must be considered and appropriate treatment given. By applying a comprehensive therapy plan of drugs, physical therapy, and patient education, significant benefits can often be achieved in this prevalent group of painful diseases.
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