Transition from acute to chronic pain: where cells, systems and society meet.

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Current treatments for chronic pain are often ineffective. At the same as searching for novel therapeutics, there is growing interest in preventing acute pain becoming chronic. While the field is still in its infancy, its knowledge base is increasingly expanding. Certainly, biomedical factors, for example, the type of tissue damage, are important but they are often not modifiable. Psychosocial risk factors (e.g., thoughts and beliefs about pain, mood, social support, workplace problems) are modifiable. There is an increasing body of research that cognitive behavioral therapy can prevent transition. Internet-based delivery of cognitive behavioral therapy improves access. Clinicians need to be aware that they may inadvertently promote pain chronification in their patients by what they say and do.

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