The role of the central nervous system in the generation and maintenance of chronic pain in rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia

Yvonne C. Lee*, Nicholas J. Nassikas, Daniel J. Clauw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

195 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pain is a key component of most rheumatologic diseases. In fibromyalgia, the importance of central nervous system pain mechanisms (for example, loss of descending analgesic activity and central sensitization) is well documented. A few studies have also noted alterations in central pain processing in osteoarthritis, and some data, including the observation of widespread pain sensitivity, suggest that central pain-processing defects may alter the pain response in rheumatoid arthritis patients. When central pain is identified, different classes of analgesics (for example, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, α2δ ligands) may be more effective than drugs that treat peripheral or nociceptive pain (for example, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and opioids).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number211
JournalArthritis Research and Therapy
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 28 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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