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21-05-2018 | Article

Editorial board commentary

Victoria Ruffing

Comment on: Recommendations issued for managing pain in patients with arthritis

Pain management for people with inflammatory arthritis (IA) and osteoarthritis (OA) is complicated. Assessing pain and determining the ideal treatment strategies should be individualized. This article gives us clear guidelines on moving forward with a pain management plan for our patients suffering from IA and OA.

Providers may have a limited number of “go to tools” when discussing pain management with their patients, for example, advising patients to lose weight and start a walking program. Patients themselves may also have a narrow idea of what they can do to self-manage pain, such as taking analgesics. Having evidence of the success of additional modalities will help expand that discussion.               

Patients often ask for alternatives to medication in managing pain. This has become even more common in the presence of the “opioid epidemic.” Using the EULAR recommendations for the health professionals’ approach to pain management in inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis, the healthcare professional can be more confident in identifying a plan that is acceptable to both patient and provider.