Which physical exam findings are consistent with chronic pain syndrome (CPS)?

Updated: Jan 14, 2020
  • Author: Manish K Singh, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Good rapport, tolerance, and an open-minded approach are important when evaluating any patient with chronic pain. A thorough systematic examination usually leads to an appropriate diagnosis and therapy. Patients often have Waddell signs. The disability is usually out of proportion to the impairment and the objective findings.

A patient with chronic pain syndrome (CPS) may exhibit exaggerated pain behavior. Sensations may seem to be hysterical or appear nonanatomic or nonphysiologic, but the patient always should be taken seriously and appropriate conservative steps should be taken.

Detailed examination of the musculoskeletal system is important. Examination of various other systems (eg, GI, urologic, neurologic) also should be performed.

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