New Recommendations Guide Arthritis Pain Management

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EULAR has released recommendations for approaching pain management in inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis.
EULAR has released recommendations for approaching pain management in inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis.

HealthDay News — The European League Against Rheumatism has released recommendations -- published in the June issue of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases -- for health professionals to use in approaching pain management in inflammatory arthritis (IA) and osteoarthritis (OA).

Rinie Geenen, Ph.D., from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and colleagues on a multidisciplinary task force including professionals and patient representatives conducted a systematic literature review to assess evidence regarding effects on pain of multiple treatment modalities. The authors included 186 reviews in their analysis.

The task force emphasized the importance for the health professional of adopting a patient-centered framework within a biopsychosocial perspective, having sufficient knowledge of IA and OA pathogenesis, and being able to differentiate localized and generalized pain. Pain treatment usually includes education, which can be complemented with physical activity and exercise; orthotics; psychological and social interventions; sleep hygiene education; weight management; pharmacological and joint-specific treatment options; or interdisciplinary pain management. Pain was consistently positively affected by physical activity and exercise interventions as well as psychological interventions.

"Underpinned by available systematic reviews and meta-analyses, these recommendations enable health professionals to provide knowledgeable pain-management support for people with IA and OA," the authors write.

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