Protection from and relief of pain and suffering are a fundamental feature of the human contract we make as parents, partners, children, family, friends, and community members, as well as a cardinal underpinning of the art and science of healing.
Pain is part of the human condition; at some point, for short or long periods of time, we all experience pain and suffer its consequences. While pain can serve as a warning to protect us from further harm, it also can contribute to severe and even relentless suffering, surpassing its underlying cause to become a disease in its own domains and dimensions.
We all may share common accountings of pain, but in reality, our experiences with pain are deeply personal, filtered through the lens of our unique biology, the society and community in which we were born and live, the personalities and styles of coping we have developed, and the manner in which our life journey has been enjoined with health and disease.
Preface to ‘Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research’ - Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (USA)