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Adolescents’ experiences of fluctuating pain in musculoskeletal disorders: a qualitative systematic review and thematic synthesis Adolescents with chronic musculoskeletal pain live with a daily background level of symptoms which frequently fluctuate and are associated with functional and emotional difficulties. It was not clear whether these symptoms and challenges were experienced as part of ‘typical’ fluctuations in pain, or whether they reflect symptom exacerbations classified as ‘flares’. Further research is needed to explore the frequency and characteristics of pain flares, and how they differ from their typical fluctuations in pain. The review also highlights areas relating to the pain experience, symptom management and health service provision that require further exploration to support more personalised, tailored care for adolescents with chronic musculoskeletal pain.
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