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

Image: Cold plasma tested on ISS

Low-temperature plasma – electrically charged gas – that was originally tested aboard the International Space Station is now being harnessed to kill drug-resistant bacteria and viruses that can cause infections in hospital.

A smart soft orthosis for a stronger back

When workers in Germany call in sick, back pain is often to blame. It frequently affects employees in logistics, manufacturing and services where physically strenuous patterns of movement are part of the daily job routine. ...

Dry-cured ham bones—a source of heart-healthy peptides?

Drinking bone broth is a recent diet fad that proponents claim fights inflammation, eases joint pain and promotes gut health. Simmering animal bones in water releases collagen and other proteins into the broth that may have ...

Thousands stung in Australian jellyfish 'invasion'

Highly venomous jellyfish have stung more than three thousand people on Australia's northeastern shores in just a few days, authorities said Monday, forcing the closure of several beaches.

E-bandage generates electricity, speeds wound healing in rats

Skin has a remarkable ability to heal itself. But in some cases, wounds heal very slowly or not at all, putting a person at risk for chronic pain, infection and scarring. Now, researchers have developed a self-powered bandage ...

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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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