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Pain. 2019 Jan;160(1):77-82. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001389.

The IASP classification of chronic pain for ICD-11: chronic secondary musculoskeletal pain.

Author information

Pain Clinic, Cochin Hospital, Paris Descartes University, INSERM U 987, Paris, France.
St Vincent's Clinical School, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Division of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Department of Psychology, Philipps-University Marburg, Marburg, Germany.
Department of Neurophysiology, CBTM, Medical Faculty Mannheim of Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.


Chronic musculoskeletal pain is defined as chronic pain arising from musculoskeletal structures such as bones or joints. Although comprising the most prevalent set of chronic pain conditions, it was not represented appropriately in the 10th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), which was organized mainly according to anatomical sites, was strongly focused on musculoskeletal disease or local damage, and did not consider the underlying mechanisms of pain. The new ICD-11 classification introduces the concept of chronic primary and secondary musculoskeletal pain, and integrates the biomedical axis with the psychological and social axes that comprise the complex experience of chronic musculoskeletal pain. Chronic primary musculoskeletal pain is a condition in its own right, not better accounted for by a specific classified disease. Chronic secondary musculoskeletal pain is a symptom that arises from an underlying disease classified elsewhere. Such secondary musculoskeletal pain originates in persistent nociception in musculoskeletal structures from local or systemic etiologies, or it may be related to deep somatic lesions. It can be caused by inflammation, by structural changes, or by biomechanical consequences of diseases of the nervous system. It is intended that this new classification will facilitate access to patient-centered multimodal pain management and promote research through more accurate epidemiological analyses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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