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A new paradigm for musculoskeletal pain care: moving beyond structural impairments

Edited by Prof Julie Fritz, Prof Alice Kongsted

There is increased recognition that musculoskeletal pain conditions are a result of a complex interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors that cannot be resolved by addressing structural dysfunction/impairment alone. Further, while clinical guidelines consistently recommend patient education, exercise therapy and manual therapies for musculoskeletal pain management, they also advocate patient self-management. Currently, there is still sparse evidence informing how to integrate clinician-led, evidence-based interventions while also supporting and encouraging patient self-management in a manner that promotes person-centered care and positively affect people’s health and wellbeing.

With decreasing focus on clinician-directed interventions, and increasing emphasis on patient self-management, the role of musculoskeletal pain practitioners and the value of common interventions like manual and supervised exercise therapies, may feel challenged. However, the shift toward a more comprehensive approach to musculoskeletal pain care also offers opportunities for musculoskeletal pain care providers to play more pivotal roles in front-line care. 

This thematic series of Chiropractic & Manual Therapies invites authors to submit manuscripts that address ways of broadening the management of musculoskeletal pain conditions beyond the treatment of structural diagnoses or impairments alone. This includes studies related to integrating patient-centered care, population health management, self-management support and virtual interventions and telehealth. This also includes the role of clinician-led treatments in patient-centered care and self-management, clinical decision-making, and other elements of the patient-clinician interaction.

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