Managing MSK pain

Contents

  • Objectives
  • Overview
  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Degenerative or mechanical arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Soft tissue musculoskeletal pain
  • Connective tissue disease (CTD)
  • Approaches to pain pharmacotherapy
  • Opioids
  • Osteoarthritis pharmacotherapy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis pharmacotherapy
  • Lower back pain pharmacotherapy
  • Useful resources
  • References
  • Action & Evaluation
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Objectives

After completing this module, you should be more aware of:

·       musculoskeletal pain prevalence and impact, and demographic tools to help target care;

·       proposals around the validity of the analgesic ladder in long-term pain;

·       the minimal role opioids should play in long-term pain management;

·       arthritis types and recommended pharmacological approaches to pain management.

Reflection
How many patients buy analgesics on a regular basis or are on long-term analgesic prescriptions?
How often do these people express concern about their continued analgesic usage?
Are they using analgesics appropriately for the symptoms they describe?

Planning
What opportunities are there in the forthcoming months to promote awareness of pain control for musculoskeletal conditions?
Are any public health campaigns being planned locally?
When do you want to complete this learning activity?
And how will it help your CPD?

Action
In addition to reading this article, what other activities will you do?
What resources have you identified or used?

Evaluation
How will you put your learning into practice?
For the next five patients with repeat prescriptions for analgesics, can you enquire about whether their condition is musculoskeletal, what benefits the analgesics bring, and what monitoring has been done regarding their analgesics usage?
Would any patient benefit from a review of their pain management therapy, or of the MSK condition?
What will you advise?

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