Clinician's comment on the management of pain in arthritis.
The arthritic diseases are major sources of pain or disability, although they differ in etiology and treatment approach. For diseases such as RA, inflammation is the predominant mechanism that leads to systemic complaints such as pain as well as local destruction of cartilage and bone. In contrast, OA is primarily a degenerative process and, although inflammation may occur, it differs in quality and extent from that in the systemic inflammatory arthritidies. For both conditions, psychosocial interventions have significant positive benefits, but their application involves careful consideration of a variety of factors. These factors include the following: diagnosis, disease activity, damage, disease stage, patient age and demographics, presence of comorbidities, and availability of alternative or adjunctive approaches.
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