Nagel blends medical and personal knowledge and policy expertise to portray the complexities of chronic pain for both patients and physicians. Using his and other patients’ stories to illustrate the difficulties of treating chronic pain, and describing the ways in which sufferers are often ostracized by the medical system, the author begins by exploring the reality of chronic pain both in biology and those who live with it, providing helpful suggestions for reform of disability insurance and entitlement programs so they may reenter the workforce without losing their benefits.