Pathophysiological mechanisms of chronic pain

Authored by: Mick Thacker , Lorimer Moseley

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Pain

Print publication date:  June  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138823181
eBook ISBN: 9781315742205
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315742205.ch10

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Abstract

“Chronic pain” (also referred to as persistent pain) is a term usually applied to pain that persists past normal healing time and often lacks the acute warning function of physiological nociception, although many authors apply the term pragmatically to pain that lasts or recurs for more than three to six months (Treede et al. 2015; see also Chapter 6, this volume). Unfortunately chronic pain is a common occurrence that affects an estimated 20 percent of the world’s population (Breivik et al. 2006; Goldberg and McGee 2011; Hart et al. 2014) and accounts for 15 to 20 percent of the total visits to physicians (Treede et al. 2015). Adequate treatment of chronic pain is a basic human right according to the World Health Organization, who further recommend that the management of chronic pain be a global health priority (Bond et al. 2006).

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