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The diagnostic approach in clinical practice in Rheumatology is mainly based on the recognition of pain origin. Patient’s experience of pain may be similar in different diseases involving bones, joints, tendons, muscles or peripheral nervous system. The analysis of some characteristics of pain may be helpful in the diagnostic approach. In this perspective pain must be analyzed according to the type, localization, occurrence, elicitation and concomitant clinical signs. In the majority of cases this analysis allows a preliminary differential diagnosis which is essential to drive further assessments. The diagnostic approach to arthropaties is based on a group of indicative criteria which include diffusion of the arthropathy, the involved sites, the course of the joint disease, the joint damage, the history of preceding events and the presence of extra-articular features which accompany joint disease. This kind of clinical approach helps the clinician in saving time and reducing costs of diagnosis by driving any further investigation.
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