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RELIEF Opens New Channels for Exploring Pain Research

A new website aims to make scientific research on the causes and treatment of chronic pain more accessible to patients and the general public. RELIEF offers news, feature articles and interviews with leading experts, and will soon add podcasts and webinars.

Chronic pain affects up to one-third of people in the United States, at a cost of more than $500 billion per year, and is an under-recognized problem among the public, journalists, healthcare providers, policymakers and research funders. Currently available treatments do not work for many patients, and often have intolerable side effects. By publicizing and popularizing scientific findings and perspectives, RELIEF seeks to empower audiences “so they can spark and contribute to a worldwide conversation about chronic pain and help rally support for research.”

The site’s first slate of news stories illuminate a rare inherited mutation that causes pain in response to cold exposure, describe newfound links between pain and autoimmune arthritis, and explain recent research on sex differences in the mechanisms of pain. RELIEF offers in-depth feature articles assessing the value of complementary therapies and medical cannabis, as well as a series of interviewswith pain researchers and with the author of A Nation in Pain—with more content to come.

RELIEF is a project of the Pain Research Forum, launched in 2011 as a global, interactive web community for pain researchers, with the goal of accelerating the translation of research into new therapies for persistent pain. The Rita Allen Foundation is supporting RELIEF as part of its work to advance public engagement with science.