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Paul Farquhar-Smith

, Pierre Beaulieu

, and Sian Jagger

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date: 15 October 2021

The landmark paper discussed in this chapter is ‘Towards a mechanism-based classification of pain?’, published by Woolf et al. in 1998. One of the great challenges of managing patients with pain problems has been the idiosyncratic response of patients to therapies designed to improve their symptoms. In part, this has been the consequence of imperfect methods of classifying pain. If it is not possible to robustly categorize patients into common pain groups, how can it be hoped that successful treatments that translate well from the research setting into clinical practice will be developed? In this landmark editorial, Clifford Woolf and his co-authors attempted to address imperfections in historical pain classification systems with a novel approach based on pain mechanisms.

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