By Julia Ries in Huffpost.
This story is from HuffPost in the US – and part of Pain in America, a nine-part series looking at some of the underlying causes of the opioid addiction crisis and how we treat pain.
Chronic pain comes in all different shapes and sizes — it burns, it aches, it stabs and throbs. Some people’s pain is linked back to muscle and joint injuries, whereas others’ pain is caused from conditions like endometriosis, cysts, nerve damage and inflammation.
And even though chronic pain — or the type of pain that lingers for months or years on end — affects about 20% of the population, we still don’t know too much about it. Many of the conditions that cause chronic pain are poorly understood, and researchers have yet to clearly identify how the brain processes different types of pain.
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