Chronic pain is one of the most pressing and under-recognized problems in all of medicine and healthcare. Up to one-third of people in the US suffer from some type of chronic pain, which affects more people than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined, at a total annual cost of $560-635 billion. The toll is even higher abroad. For many people suffering from chronic pain, currently available treatments either do not work or come with untenable side effects.
Despite this tremendous personal and societal burden of illness, chronic pain is vastly under-recognized by the general public, policymakers, journalists, biomedical research funders, and even healthcare providers. Yet currently there are few mechanisms to translate the full breadth and depth of pain research into accessible language and concepts that patients and the general public can use to understand the latest scientific findings and communicate their knowledge to others, in order to raise awareness of chronic pain in society and help rally support for research.
Launched in January 2016, RELIEF exists to fill this void. RELIEF provides news summaries, feature articles, interviews, webinars and podcasts covering the latest findings in pain research for a general audience, including people living with chronic pain and others interested in gaining understanding of this area of scientific investigation. Our goal is to give people the knowledge they need so they can spark and meaningfully contribute to a national and international conversation about how to move pain treatment and care forward.
RELIEF is a project of the Pain Research Forum (PRF). Based at the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center at Harvard Medical School, PRF is an interactive web site for investigators working to translate new knowledge about pain neurobiology into novel treatments for chronic pain.