Abstract Chronic pain is a complex condition for which the need for specialized research and therapies has been recognized internationally. This review summarizes the context for the international call for expansion of pain research to improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying pain in order to achieve improvements in pain management. The methods for conducting sensory assessment in animal models are discussed and the development of animal models of chronic pain is specifically reviewed, with an emphasis on ongoing refinements to more closely mimic a variety of human pain conditions. Pharmacological correspondences between pre-clinical pain models and the human clinical experience are noted. A discussion of the 3Rs Framework (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement) and how each may be considered in pain research is featured. Finally, suggestions are provided for engaging principal investigators, IACUC reviewers, and institutions in the development of strong partnerships to simultaneously expand our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying pain and analgesia while ensuring the humane use of animals in research.
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© 2015 Elsevier B.V.
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- Animal models
- Chronic pain