Related topics: chronic pain · brain · patients · arthritis · osteoarthritis

Dogs' aggressive behavior towards humans is often caused by fear

A study encompassing some 9,000 dogs conducted at the University of Helsinki demonstrated that fearfulness, age, breed, the company of other members of the same species and the owner's previous experience of dogs were associated ...

Do fish feel pain? Research team says it's likely

An international, multidisciplinary team that includes faculty members from The University of Texas at Arlington has published a paper in the journal Philosophical Psychology that wades into the debate about whether fish ...

Five ways fish are more like humans than you realize

You've probably heard that fish have a three-second memory, or that they're incapable of feeling pain. Neither of these statements is true, but it's telling that these misconceptions don't crop up for other vertebrates.

Tips for keeping pets safe from household dangers

Certain everyday household items can pose a threat to pets' health, says Susan Nelson, clinical professor at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Here are some items and situations pets owners can watch ...

Treating rheumatoid arthritis with micromotors

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder marked by joint pain, swelling and damage. Although medications, such as steroids, anti-inflammatory drugs and immunosuppressants, can help slow joint destruction and ...

Modeling the brain during pain processing

The many different sensations our bodies experience are accompanied by deeply complex exchanges of information within the brain, and the feeling of pain is no exception. So far, research has shown how pain intensity can be ...

Study sets baseline for sleep patterns in healthy adult dogs

A new canine sleep study from North Carolina State University could serve as a baseline for research on chronic pain and cognitive dysfunction in dogs, potentially improving detection and treatment of these conditions.

Tarantula toxin attacks with molecular stinger

Oversized, hairy tarantulas may be unsightly and venomous, but surprisingly their hunter toxin may hold answers to better control of chronic pain.

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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.

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