The goal of the Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures (A2CPS) program is to develop a set of objective biomarkers that provide "signatures" to predict if chronic pain is likely to develop after acute pain. Such signatures are greatly needed as prevention of chronic pain after an acute pain event is a major challenge in pain management. For most people, acute pain resolves as the injury that caused it heals. Yet in many other people, acute pain from an injury, surgery, or disease persists beyond the initial insult, and lasts for years or throughout life. The number of people who transition from acute to chronic pain after an acute pain event is high, and this high prevalence of chronic pain in the US has in part contributed to the current opioid epidemic. A signature of the transition from acute to chronic pain could help accelerate therapy development and ultimately guide pain prevention strategies.
To develop signatures predictive of transition versus resilience to chronic pain, the program will collect data from two groups of people for six months; one group will have recently had surgery and the other will have a musculoskeletal injury. The hope is for differences between participants who transition to chronic pain and those who are resilient to reveal biomarkers associated with the transition to chronic pain. The biomarkers then could be combined into signatures predictive of the transition.