Nonarticular rheumatism and the early stages of the spondyloarthropathies make up a large proportion of the musculoskeletal problems seen by primary care physicians. Because of their many shared features, these conditions may be confused. Moreover, the essential concepts of their diagnosis are often poorly understood. Because the approaches to treatment are radically different for the two conditions (as well as for the various types of nonarticular rheumatism), accurate diagnosis is a prerequisite of successful management. Except for describing a very small minority of patients with bizarre pain, the term 'psychogenic rheumatism' has no place in contemporary medicine.
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