Neuroscience

Researchers gain new insights into pain signaling in the brain

Fast communication between our brain cells—or neurotransmission as it is called—is hugely important for our brain to work properly. Some of the messengers involved in this form of communication are neuropeptides, which ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Health emergency? Don't hesitate to get help

With hospitals across America focused on people who have developed COVID-19, some people with unrelated but still urgent health problems are feeling awkward about reporting to emergency rooms.

Health

Study shows legal marijuana products too strong for pain relief

More than 90% of the legal marijuana products offered in medical dispensaries are much stronger than what clinical studies have shown that doctors recommend for chronic pain relief, according to a study published in the March ...

Sports medicine & Kinesiology

Keeping lower back pain at bay

With the significant part of the global population forced to work from home, the occurrence of lower back pain may increase. Lithuanian scientists have devised a spinal stabilisation exercise programme for managing lower ...

Medications

Using cannabinoids to treat acute pain

A new systematic review and meta-analysis showed a small but significant reduction in subjective pain scores for cannabinoid treatment compared to placebo in patients experiencing acute pain. No increase in serious adverse ...

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Pain

Pain, in the sense of physical pain, is a typical sensory experience that may be described as the unpleasant awareness of a noxious stimulus or bodily harm. Individuals experience pain by various daily hurts and aches, and sometimes through more serious injuries or illnesses. For scientific and clinical purposes, pain is defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) as "an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage".

In medicine, pain is considered as highly subjective. A definition that is widely used in nursing was first given as early as 1968 by Margo McCaffery: "Pain is whatever the experiencing person says it is, existing whenever he says it does". Pain of any type is the most common reason for physician consultation in the United States, prompting half of all Americans to seek medical care annually. It is a major symptom in many medical conditions, significantly interfering with a person's quality of life and general functioning. Diagnosis is based on characterizing pain in various ways, according to duration, intensity, type (dull, burning, throbbing or stabbing), source, or location in body. Usually pain stops without treatment or responds to simple measures such as resting or taking an analgesic, and it is then called ‘acute’ pain. But it may also become intractable and develop into a condition called chronic pain, in which pain is no longer considered a symptom but an illness by itself. The study of pain has in recent years attracted many different fields such as pharmacology, neurobiology, nursing, dentistry, physiotherapy, and psychology. Pain medicine is a separate subspecialty figuring under some medical specialties like anesthesiology, physiatry, neurology, and psychiatry.

Pain is part of the body's defense system, triggering a reflex reaction to retract from a painful stimulus, and helps adjust behavior to increase avoidance of that particular harmful situation in the future. Given its significance, physical pain is also linked to various cultural, religious, philosophical, or social issues.

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