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Musculoskeletal primary care 

Musculoskeletal primary care
Musculoskeletal primary care

Nefyn Williams

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date: 19 June 2021

Musculoskeletal disorders comprise 15–20% of all consultations with a general practitioner (GP). It is also estimated that 50% of these patients are managed by GPs without referral. This chapter shows how, together with primary care nurses, GPs manage patients with multiple morbidities and co-ordinate complex pathways of care. The core treatments they provide for musculoskeletal problems include prescriptions for analgesia, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, pain-modifying agents, disease-modifying drugs for inflammatory disorders; advice and education about healthy behaviours such as the promotion of weight loss and exercise; cardiovascular risk assessment and osteoporosis screening for patients with inflammatory arthritis; and regular monitoring of blood tests for patients on disease-modifying drugs. The assessment and management of musculoskeletal problems in primary care can be considered in terms of the Royal College of General Practitioners’ core competencies— primary care management; person-centred care; specific problem-solving skills; comprehensive approach; community orientation; holistic approach.

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