The term ‘problematic pain’ is relatively new and has been the recent source of much debate, especially among primary and community care pain clinicians. In this article, we review the concept of problematic pain, highlighting how it fits in the context of acute, sub-acute and chronic pain. We also examine how risk for the development of chronicity can be assessed using current data and screening tools. The use of ultra-short screening tools for other conditions has previously been evaluated in the literature, and we propose a new tool, to open discussion for the assessment of problematic pain. This is especially relevant in the short consultation where it can be difficult to capture meaningful information quickly. Finally, we focus upon new initiatives currently in progress in the arena of problematic pain in the United Kingdom.