Pain, a complex phenomenon influenced by a series of genetic, biological, psychological and social factors, is a major component of many rheumatological conditions and the result of physiological interactions between central and peripheral nervous system signalling (1, 2). It may be acute or chronic (generally defined as lasting ≥ three months): acute pain is often primarily attributable to inflammation and/or damage to peripheral structures (i.e. nociceptive input), whereas chronic pain is more likely to be due to input from the central nervous system (CNS) (2, 3). The many different aspects of pain mean that rheumatologists and other clinicians need to have enough expertise to diagnose the type of pain correctly and treat it appropriately (3, 4). However, most rheumatologists receive little formal training concerning contemporary theories of pain processing or management, and this may affect the clinical results of any specific target therapy.
- Rheumatic diseases
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