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Assessment of neuropathic pain in primary care.

Haanpää, Maija L. and Backonja, Misha-Miroslav and Bennett, Michael I. and Bouhassira, Didier and Cruccu, Giorgio and Hansson, Per T. and Jensen, Troels Staehelin and Kauppila, Timo and Rice, Andrew S. C. and Smith, Blair H. and Treede, Rolf-Detlef and Baron, Ralf (2009) Assessment of neuropathic pain in primary care. The American Journal of Medicine, 122 (10 (Su). S13-S21. ISSN 0002-9343

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Abstract

Management of patients presenting with chronic pain is a common problem in primary care. Essentially, the classification of chronic pain falls into 3 broad categories: (1) pain owing to tissue disease or damage (nociceptive pain), (2) pain caused by somatosensory system disease or damage (neuropathic pain), and (3) pain without a known somatic background. Key challenges in developing a targeted holistic approach to treatment include appropriate diagnosis of the cause or causes of pain; identifying the type of pain and assessing the relative importance of its various components; and determining appropriate treatment. In clinical examination, sensory abnormalities are the crucial findings leading to a diagnosis of neuropathic pain, for which pharmacotherapy with antidepressants and anticonvulsants represents the cornerstone of medical treatment. Chronic neuropathic pain is underrecognized and undertreated, yet primary care physicians are uniquely placed on the frontlines of patient management, where they can play a pivotal role in treatment and prevention through diagnosis, therapy, follow-up, and referral. This review provides guidance in understanding and identifying the neuropathic contribution to pain presenting in primary care; assessing its severity through patient history, physical examination, and appropriate diagnostic tests; and establishing a rational treatment plan.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: The American Journal of Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: Allodynia ; Assessment ; Neurological testing ; Neuropathic pain ; Pain measurement ; Somatosensory testing
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Departments: Faculty of Health and Medicine > Health Research
ID Code: 32159
Deposited By: Mr Richard Ingham
Deposited On: 11 Mar 2010 10:15
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 17:06
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/32159

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