The role of stress in rheumatic diseases – Source: Arthritis Research & Therapy, May 17, 2010

[Note: to read the full text of the editorial summarized below, click here. And to read the research paper it introduces, “Experimental stress in inflammatory rheumatic diseases: A review of psychophysiological stress responses,” click here.]

Rheumatology patients frequently note the occurrence of stressful or traumatic life events prior to the onset of their illness and/or a relationship between stress and disease flares.

For our patients:
• Identifying causal events could represent an effort to give meaning to a chronic and often disabling disease,

• While noting a link between stress and flares may proffer a sense of control.

Whatever purpose the report of stress as an etiological or maintaining factor may serve, the science exploring a causal relationship between stress and autoimmune disease onset and course is expanding.

Moreover, stress can also induce symptoms such as pain via nonimmunological mechanisms.

Source: Arthritis Research & Therapy, May 17, 2010;12:123. doi:10.1186/ar3024, by Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. [Email: afton@med.umich.edu]

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