Rheumatic disease and associated soft tissue problems encompass a large number of syndromes and account for a high percentage of visits to primary care practitioners. This article describes the symptoms, causes, and treatments for five of the problems most commonly encountered: bursitis, tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, myofascial pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia. Effective management requires a structured history, physical examination, and definitive diagnosis that distinguishes the soft tissue problem from a joint problem and an inflammatory syndrome from a noninflammatory syndrome. The overriding principle is self-management of treatments that focuses on relief of pain, maintenance of function, and avoidance of factors that cause recurrence or exacerbation of the problem. Medications, physical therapies, biomechanical aids, and exercise strategies, along with cognitive-behavioral techniques for the more chronic problems, are all known to decrease symptoms and to assist patients in returning to normal functioning.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Lippincott's primary care practice|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|