Researchers from CRIISP have a lot of questions. For example: Why do some people develop pain that won’t go away, and others don’t? why some people recover, and others don’t? and why can some carry on with life despite the pain, and other times the pain is overwhelming? To get close to answering these questions there is a need to define some terms.

Defining the different states of chronic pain and the different changes in those states – the transitions, is the focus of the first study to come out of CRIISP – a topical review in the journal PAIN, ‘The establishment, maintenance, and adaptation of hight- and low- impact chronic pain: a framework for biopsychosocial pain research’.

Initially chronic pain was defined as over 3 months in duration, impact was defined as the effect it has on our ability to engage with life. This allowed a conversation to start about predicting impact, and about treatment innovation aimed at reducing impact.

Alongside this, examination of existing biobank databases in the UK was undertaken. This aimed to discover what they know about why some people fall into high impact pain and remain there; or struggle to transition from chronic pain and others find a way to live with pain.

The framework and examination of biobanks datasets is informing the design of studies from scratch; to focus on the ideas that emerge from our study or are shared with us by people in pain

There is a lot within this paper, and it is setting our agenda and guiding our investigation. This highlights how our focus is moving away from pain as sensation and focussing on living with pain.

In CRIISP we are committed to action, to discovery and innovation in pain science and treatment. This framework sets out the stall for that action aiming to work together to bring better outcomes for people living in pain.