Pain in rheumatoid arthritis: A critical review

Piercarlo Sarzi-Puttini, F. Salaffi, M. Di Franco, L. Bazzichi, G. Cassisi, R. Casale, M. Cazzola, S. Stisi, M. Battellino, F. Atzeni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are frequently afflicted by pain, which may be caused by joint inflammation (leading to structural joint damage) or secondary osteoarthritis, and may be increased by central sensitisation. Non-inflammatory pain may also confuse the assessment of disease activity, and so the aim of treatment is not only to combat inflammatory disease, but also relieve painful symptoms. In order to ensure effective treatment stratification, it is necessary to record a patients medical history in detail, perform a physical examination, and objectively assess synovitis and joint damage. The management of pain requires various approaches that include pharmacological analgesia and biological and non-biological treatments. Although joint replacement surgery can significantly improve RA-related pain, it may only be available to patients with the most severe advanced disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-27
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Analgesics
  • Central sensitization
  • Pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Medicine(all)


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