Persistent pain is a remarkably common and remarkably expensive healthcare problem. In the developed world, approximately one in three people reports a persistent pain condition; in South Africa, this number is probably closer to one in two people.1-3 The economic cost of pain to South Africa has not been formally calculated, but in Australia and the United States, the cost-to-country of persistent pain exceeds the combined costs of cancer and diabetes.4,5 Persistent pain is not a problem to be taken lightly.
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