The past few years have seen the publication of a large number of articles and not a few books on the subject of relief of intractable pain. New ideas have been put forward on pain mechanisms, new methods of treatment have been reported and improved results c1aimed, and a growing catalogue of complications oftreatment has been recorded. The vast and expanding literature on the subject poses for the reader the dual problems of surveil lance and of assessment. The object of the present book is to provide a critical and constructive review of current writings and ideas on a wide range of aspects of the nature of intractable pain, particularly of present day practice and new ideas on treatment. Each chapter is written by an acknowledged authority and the approach throughout is practical rather than academic. In editing the individual chapters an effort was made to achieve a contemporary approach and to eliminate material which was unduly historicalor retrospective in content. At the same time the individ ual style of the authors was retained as far as possible. For decades chronic pain has been a therapeutic 'no man's land'. For the surgeon pain was an unfortunate complication wh ich not infrequently followed surgery; for the physician it was a distressing symptom in a number of disease syndromes; to the psychiatrist it was one of a number of features in many cases of mental illness.