What is pain and how do we manage it? Commonly recognised types of pain include: Acute pain - This could be after an operation, after trauma, or as part of an acute episode of pain caused by a medical condition. Cancer pain - Pain caused by a tumour, cancer diagnostic or therapeuric interventions, or cancer treatment. Chronic (or persistent) non-cancer pain - Including over 200 chronic pain conditions described in the International Association for the Study of Pain's Classification of Chronic Pain Second Edition (Revised). Chronic pain is seen in every age group and across all medical disciplines. Severe, persistent and unrelieved pain is recognised as one of the world's major healthcare needs, with serious financial and social implications for individuals, families and communities. Around 30 years ago, clinicians realised knowledge around the care of patients with pain was not as strong as other areas of medicine. This meant the needs of many patients experiencing pain were not being met. Now, the field of pain medicine is recognised as a medical speciality in its own right in Australia and New Zealand. This is an important development, as it means specialised clinicians have the education, training and practice to deal with the widespread problem of pain in the community.