Neuroscience

Where does chronic pain begin? Scientists close in on its origins

A new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, UT Health Science Center at Houston and Baylor College of Medicine has produced evidence of the source of chronic pain in humans, ...

Immunology

Analgesics in pregnancy do not seem to cause offspring asthma

(HealthDay)—Analgesics taken during pregnancy, including opioids, antimigraine drugs, and paracetamol, do not appear to cause asthma, according to a study published online March 17 in the European Respiratory Journal.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

TB discovery could save tens of thousands of lives

Around one in 15 people affected by tuberculosis are likely get the treatable fungal infection aspergillosis according to new research by experts at The University of Manchester and Gulu Referral Hospital, Uganda.

Surgery

Helping physio students get to grips with complex motor skills

A new tool to help physiotherapy students master complex fine motor skills needed to assess and treat patients suffering physical conditions, such as back pain and spinal cord injuries, is being used at the University of ...

Neuroscience

Blunting pain's emotional component

Chronic pain involves more than just hurting. People suffering from pain often experience sadness, depression and lethargy. That's one reason opioids can be so addictive—they not only dampen the pain but also make people ...

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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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