There is growing recognition of the limitations of conventional, biomedical approaches to the management of pain in individuals having arthritis and musculoskeletal disorders. This article provides an overview of newly developed biopsychosocial approaches to the management of pain in this population. The presentation is divided into 3 sections. In the first section, a biopsychosocial model of pain is presented. This model highlights the role that biological factors (eg, disease severity, comorbid conditions), cognitive-behavioral factors (eg, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors), and environmental factors (eg, spouse or family responses to pain behavior) can play in influencing the pain experience. In the second section, we provide an overview of 2 newly developed treatment protocols based on the biopsychosocial model of pain: a pain coping skills training protocol and an exercise training protocol. Practical aspects of implementing these protocols are illustrated by highlighting how they are applied in the management of patients having persistent osteoarthritic pain. In the final section of the article, we pinpoint several important future directions for research in this area. Future studies need to explore the utility of combining pain coping skills and exercise training protocols. In addition, there is a need to identify variables that predict patients' response to biopsychosocial treatments.
J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1996;24(4):279-290.
Key Words: biopsychosocial, musculoskeletal pain, coping skills training