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Pain Research and Treatment
Volume 2012, Article ID 703947, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/703947
Review Article

The Pain Crisis: What It Is and What Can Be Done

Faculties of Dentistry and Medicine, University of Toronto, 124 Edward Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1G6

Received 27 June 2012; Accepted 9 August 2012

Academic Editor: Alok Madan

Copyright © 2012 Barry J. Sessle. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Chronic pain is present in epidemic proportions in most countries, is often unrelieved, and has a huge socioeconomic impact. It is not just a “medical” illness but indeed is a problem that faces all healthcare professional fields. Several steps are identified to address this crisis. These include approaches to enhance pain awareness and access to timely and effective care for pain, and educational and research approaches to improve the knowledge base of healthcare professionals and students and diagnostic and management procedures for pain. Several opportunities to enhance pain understanding, access, and management are also identified.