Pain

Pain is an unpleasant sensation often caused by intense or damaging stimuli such as stubbing a toe, burning a finger, putting alcohol on a cut, and bumping the "funny bone." The International Association for the Study of Pain has a definition that is widely used: "Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage".

Pain motivates the individual to withdraw from damaging situations, to protect a damaged body part while it heals, and to avoid similar experiences in the future. Most pain resolves promptly once the painful stimulus is removed and the body has healed, but sometimes pain persists despite removal of the stimulus and apparent healing of the body; and sometimes pain arises in the absence of any detectable stimulus, damage or disease.

Pain is the most common reason for physician consultation in the United States. It is a major symptom in many medical conditions, and can significantly interfere with a person's quality of life and general functioning. Psychological factors such as social support, hypnotic suggestion, excitement, or distraction can significantly modulate pain's intensity or unpleasantness.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

A gene for brain size only found in humans

About 99 percent of human genes are shared with chimpanzees. Only the small remainder sets us apart. However, we have one important difference: The brain of humans is three times as big as the chimpanzee ...

Mystery of the reverse-wired eyeball solved

From a practical standpoint, the wiring of the human eye - a product of our evolutionary baggage - doesn't make a lot of sense. In vertebrates, photoreceptors are located behind the neurons in the back of the eye - resulting ...

Neurons controlling appetite made from skin cells

Researchers have for the first time successfully converted adult human skin cells into neurons of the type that regulate appetite, providing a patient-specific model for studying the neurophysiology of weight ...

Does traffic noise increase the risk of obesity?

There is an association between road traffic noise and the risk of obesity among people who are particularly sensitive to noise, according to a study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Pancreatic cancer has four distinct types

Researchers have found that pancreatic cancer can be split into four unique types, a discovery that could be used to improve treatments for the disease, according to a study published in Nature.