Unmet Needs


Lead Author(s): 

Jonathan S. Kirschner, MD, RMSK
Se Won Lee, MD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

One of the key challenges in the care of people with neuromuscular disease is that patients are living longer with these often chronic diseases. As other disabling musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal disorders occur in this population, it can be harder for individuals to maintain quality of life and independence.  Pain management for patients with neuromuscular diseases can be challenging, especially with the current opioid epidemic.1 Better biopsychosocial approaches to pain management need to be developed and implemented.

The increasing demand from the aging population with neuromuscular disease and a shortage of trained health care providers may place an excessive burden on communities. Furthermore, access to comprehensive care will be difficult for individuals with moderate to severe neuromuscular disorders requiring an interdisciplinary approach, especially in less populated areas. Controlling costs of medical care without compromising quality is another great unmet need, but not one unique to neuromuscular disease. 

  • 1. Sommer C. Peripheral neuropathies: Long-term opioid therapy in neuropathy: benefit or harm? Nat Rev Neurol 2017;13(9);516-17. doi: 10.1038/nrneurol.2017.101.


  • Fourth Edition

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