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Medical Practice

Pain Patterns in the Rheumatic Disorders

Br Med J 1972; 4 doi: (Published 28 October 1972) Cite this as: Br Med J 1972;4:213

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. F. Dudley Hart,
  2. E. C. Huskisson


    Pain patterns vary greatly in the different types of arthritis, from the localized agony without mental overtones in acute gout to the diffuse disorder we call rheumatoid arthritis, where inflammation of many joints, systemic illness, anaemia, anxiety, and depression are usually all present in some degree. Each pain pattern calls for a different therapeutic approach, physical, psychological, and pharmacological. Few patients suffer as much pain and suffering over many years as do chronic arthritics. It is all the more important to instruct them in the essentials of their own treatment. A patient with an occupied and instructed mind usually suffers less than an ignorant and depressed one, fearful of her disease and its complications and of the dark uncertain future that lies ahead.


    • * Based on a paper read by F.D.H. at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School on 11 May 1972.

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