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Pain concepts: chronic pain 

Pain concepts: chronic pain
Chapter:
Pain concepts: chronic pain
Author(s):

Milton Cohen

and John Quintner

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199674107.003.0019
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date: 28 November 2020

This chapter covers the concepts of chronic pain. It begins by defining chronic pain under the following headings: the public health problem, the biomedical framework, the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) definition and critique, biopsychosocial frameworks, and dissecting and understanding the biomedical imperative (power and dollars). The chapter then engages with the ‘chronic pain is a disease’ debate, covering the problems with language, discussing whether chronic pain is a disease, technological considerations, and the approach from evolutionary biology. The chapter then addresses integrated intersubjectivity, including broadening the theory, pain experience as an aporia, self-referential biological systems, empathy, the ‘third space’ concept, and achieving change in the clinic.

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