Pain is a debilitating feature of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and is often described by patients as their most important symptom. Rheumatoid arthritis pain has traditionally been attributed solely to joint inflammation, however despite the advent of increasingly effective disease modifying agents, patients continue to report pain at long term follow up. The cause for ongoing pain is multifactorial and includes joint damage and pain sensitisation. In this book chapter, we will describe the mechanisms underlying the distinct components of pain which are manifest in rheumatoid arthritis and discuss why a thorough assessment of pain is vital to target treatments appropriately.
Part of the book: Rheumatoid Arthritis