Chronic pain in torture victims

Adam J. Carinci, Pankaj Mehta, Paul J. Christo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Torture is widely practiced throughout the world. Recent studies indicate that 50% of all countries, including 79% of the G-20 countries, continue to practice systematic torture despite a universal ban. It is well known that torture has numerous physical, psychological, and pain-related sequelae that can inflict a devastating and enduring burden on its victims. Health care professionals, particularly those who specialize in the treatment of chronic pain, have an obligation to better understand the physical and psychological effects of torture. This review highlights the epidemiology, classification, pain sequelae, and clinical treatment guidelines of torture victims. In addition, the role of pharmacologic and psychologic interventions is explored in the context of rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-79
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent pain and headache reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Chronic pain
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Epidemiology
  • Pain sequelae
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Psychological stress
  • Refugee
  • Rehabilitation
  • Torture
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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