Neuroscience

Researchers discover the brain cells that make pain unpleasant

If you step on a tack, neurons in your brain will register two things: that there's a piercing physical sensation in your foot, and that it's not pleasant. Now, a team of scientists at Stanford University has identified a ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

When to treat varicose veins

(HealthDay)—About half of the population will one day have a vein problem.

Genetics

Gene therapy blocks peripheral nerve damage in mice

Nerve axons serve as the wiring of the nervous system, sending electrical signals that control movement and sense of touch. When axons are damaged, whether by injury or as a side effect of certain drugs, a program is triggered ...

Health

Are some breads getting a bad rap?

There may be no dietary staple more in need of a public relations makeover than bread. Concerns over carbs, sodium and gluten sometime overshadow what can be a simple, tasty way to add important vitamins and minerals as well ...

Sports Medicine & Kinesiology

Stress fracture? Your foot hitting pavement wasn't the main problem

It starts as a persistent and irritating pain in the foot or lower leg, then it gets more intense, maybe with swelling, and soon a runner knows she's being sidelined by one of the most common running injuries: a stress fracture. ...

Medications

Study examines the course of back pain over time

Back pain is among the most frequently reported health problems in the world. New research published in Arthritis Care & Research, an official journal of the American College of Rheumatology and the Association of Rheumatology ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Pain and substance abuse interact in a vicious cycle

Pain and substance use interact in a vicious cycle that can ultimately worsen and maintain both chronic pain and addiction, according to a research team including faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New ...

Health

Smartphones: Are they just a pain in the neck?

A large majority of the world's 3.4 billion smartphone users are putting their necks at risk every time they send a text, according to new research involving the University of South Australia.

Health

Hospital: Doc gave near-death patients excessive pain meds

An Ohio hospital system says an intensive care doctor ordered "significantly excessive and potentially fatal" doses of pain medicine for at least 27 near-death patients in the past few years after families asked to stop lifesaving ...

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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.

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