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Welcome to Stanford Pain News

Sean Mackey, MD, PhD
Sean Mackey, MD, PhD

Welcome to Stanford Pain News! We have started Stanford Pain News to provide you with updates about the clinical, educational, research, and policies related to acute and chronic pain, as well as patient perspectives. We are aiming to reach you – whether you are a person living with pain, a family member of someone who has pain, a clinician caring for people with pain, or a researcher working to better understand pain and develop new therapies.

Why pain? We have learned that pain has an astounding impact on the individual, their family and society as a whole. According to the Institute of Medicine “Relieving Pain in America” report, pain impacts approximately 50-100 million Americans. Pain costs our country over half a trillion dollars per year. These numbers are more than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined! Pain has literally become a public health crisis. Almost daily we see press articles dealing with major issues around pain. Pain is the main reason people seek medical attention from their doctor and it’s a main cause of work disability. Even if one does not have chronic pain, it’s relevant to each of us and part of life. Whether one is having surgery, experiencing an injury, or is experiencing the joy of childbirth, pain is often part of the process and something to be managed so that we can focus on the things that are most meaningful to us.

Issues around pain are becoming more salient as the population ages. Aging brings more opportunities to experience pain, whether from normal wear and tear on body parts, or development of new medical conditions. Furthermore, medicine has performed miracles in improving survival rates after major trauma, cancer and life-threatening disease. Unfortunately, chronic pain takes a toll on everyone from patients to family to friends. Clearly, pain is of tremendous individual and societal impact. In fact, it’s often said that pain relief is a human right. Our goal is to highlight research, education, resources and clinical care solutions to pain and ultimately cause a cultural transformation in the way pain is understood, assessed and treated. We will feature advances from the Stanford Division of Pain Medicine and from the broader national and international pain communities. We are also proud to feature periodic blog posts that feature the perspective of the person living with pain on a range of topics that are most meaningful to them. 

Thank you for joining us on this journey.