Pain is more common than you think. Estimates based on research show that an astonishing 20% of people suffer from pain more or less regularly. Apparently many do not report their complaint, and if they do, the cause often remains unclear.
Yet there is pain. The pain-alarm system seems to be imperfect. Just like any alarm system, it may trigger a false alarm, seemingly defeating its purpose, or even turning itself against us.
Medicine offers us drugs, blockades and surgery, from which many people with pain can benefit. But, to be honest, things also go wrong quite often. Results of medical treatment of chronic pain are modest at best. People with inexplicable and untreatable pain are still dismissed as ‘mentally disturbed’, ‘a grumbler’ or ‘play acting’. In the context of our current insights into pain, this is frivolous and well behind the times. It is about time to bring into practice some new pain concepts and models.