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Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis. 2011 Aug;3(4):179-90. doi: 10.1177/1759720X11408999.

Management of chronic pain in the rheumatic diseases with insights for the clinician.

Author information

  • 1Montreal General Hospital Pain Centre, Montreal General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Abstract

Pain that accompanies musculoskeletal conditions should be regarded as an illness entity in its own right and deserves treatment in parallel with the management of the underlying condition. Recent understanding of the pathophysiology of rheumatic pain invokes interplay of the nociceptive mechanisms driven by local tissue factors and the neurogenic responses that sustain chronic pain. In line with other pain conditions, ideal treatment of rheumatic pain should be through a multimodal approach, integrating nonpharmacologic as well as pharmacologic treatments. In the light of this new concept of pain mechanisms, future pharmacologic treatment options may encompass a wider scope than the use of traditional analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. There is currently limited experience for use of pharmacologic treatments that act primarily on neurogenic mechanisms in rheumatic conditions. Drug combination studies are lacking, but this strategy seems clinically reasonable to allow for an approach to treating pain from different mechanistic perspectives. An added advantage would be the opportunity to use lower doses of individual drugs and thereby reduce the side effect profile. Ideal pain management must also include attention to the important co-associates of pain such as effects on sleep, mood and energy, which all have an impact on the global burden of suffering. Although complete relief of pain is still an unrealistic objective, reasonable outcome goals for symptom relief should be accompanied with an improvement in function.

KEYWORDS:

adjuvant; rheumatic pain; treatment

PMID:
22870477
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3382677
Free PMC Article
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