20.4% of American adults have chronic pain. Ugh. Let’s see what we can do, using the latest science.
The bottom line
Pain is difficult to treat once it reaches the chronic stage. That’s because the chronic stage either means the body’s pain signaling system is off, a pain stimulus is recurring, or both.
There are hundreds of different painful conditions. The only commonality is that it sucks to have pain, and it’s easy to spend money on things that don’t work. To really understand pain physiology, you have to understand a lot about the nervous system and immune system. To treat pain though, your best bet is to follow the evidence (and where evidence doesn’t exist, at least mechanistic plausability).