Chronic pain afflicts more than 80 million Americans and is caused by an array of diagnosed and undiagnosed conditions. Defined as continuous pain that lasts for a month or more, chronic pain may continue undiminished for a long period and then abate. It may remain dormant for an extended time or it may return quickly, more severe than it was before.

It is a condition that causes acute distress, both mentally and physically. Chronic pain threatens families, jobs and peace of mind for those who suffer from it. And, even many health care professionals are baffled by how to diagnose and treat it.