Medical research

The insular cortex processes pain and drives learning from pain

Pain is a deterrent that trains organisms to avoid future harmful situations. This is called "threat learning," and helps animals and humans to survive. But which part of the brain actually warns other parts of the brain ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Low back pain is prevalent among workers and may be underreported

Low back pain affects more than a quarter of working adults, often affecting their ability to work. However, these estimates may be underreported. Survey findings are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Inflammatory disorders

Combination therapy advisable for IBS

The more abnormalities in intestinal and brain function that IBS sufferers have, the more severe their symptoms of this functional bowel disorder, and the more adversely their everyday life is affected. This is shown by a ...

Overweight & Obesity

Weight loss medicines underutilized by veterans

Despite the availability of new weight management medications and several clinical guidelines recommending their use as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for obesity, a new study has found that their use is extremely ...

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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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