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The sense of pain; sensitiveness to pain.

Though familiar to us all, pain is mercifully difficult to remember once it has passed (if it were not, it has been observed, every family would have but one child).

Doctors refer to the short-lived suffering of childbirth or surgery or even a toothache as ‘acute pain’; it is terrible at the time, but ultimately it passes.

For untold millions, however, pain does not pass. It sings on through the night, month after month, overwhelming sleep, stifling pleasure, shrinking experience, until there is nothing but pain.

This is chronic pain, and its sufferers are legion: there are more than 36 million arthritics in the U.S.; there are 70 million with agonizing back pain; about 20 million who suffer from blinding migraines; millions more who are racked by diseases like sciatica and gout.

Most feared of all, the pain associated with cancer afflicts some 800,000 Americans and 18 million people world wide.”

Albert Schweitzer once said, "Pain is a more terrible lord of mankind than even death himself."

—Compiled from "Unlocking Pain’s Secrets";
in the June 11, 1984, cover-story of Time magazine.