Start Encyclopedia69 Dictionary | Overview | Topics | Groups | Categories | Bookmark this page.
dictionary -  encyclopedia  
Full text search :        
   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z   #   




  Medical practitioners and researchers define pain as the sensation perceived in response to a noxious stimulus. It is unique among the senses (for example, touch, hot-cold, spatial position, etc.) or special senses (vision, hearing, etc.) in the lack of clarity of the neurological understanding of the phenomenon.

A description of the pain as perceived by a particular person may be of great value in attempting to determine the cause. The pain may start with a specific event, and it may be in one position or radiate to other places. The pain may be on the surface or within; it may be burning, stabbing, gripping, etc.; it may be continuous or intermittent. It could also be of value to know of aggravating or relieving factors. If the information about the pain points to the cause, and other evidence supports the conclusion, the cause may be removed by medical or surgical means. If the cause cannot be treated the pain may still be alleviated by surgical means (immobilizing a broken bone or wound, for example), or with pain-killing or analgesic drugs. The oldest, and arguably still the most effective analgesic is aspirin, an extract of willow-bark, acetyl salicylic acid, the first drug ever synthesized.

One of the great mysteries of pain is the variation in perception of intensity of pain between people: the pain threshold. The phenomenon is in part explained by naturally-circulating substances (the opiate-like peptides) which are able to bind to specific receptor sites in parts of the brain known to be involved in pain perception. The phenomenon may be part of a scheme enabling a measured response to noxious stimuli.

Another aspect of pain is the extent to which it may be exaggerated or aggravated by the initial, possibly protective response. A sore joint, for example, is naturally immobilized by contraction of surrounding muscles, and this may result in a more painful spasm. TG



Bookmark this page:



<< former term
next term >>


Other Terms : Stream of Consciousness | Inferiority Complex | Eschatology
Home |  Add new article  |  Your List |  Tools |  Become an Editor |  Tell a Friend |  Links |  Awards |  Testimonials |  Press |  News |  About |
Copyright ©2009 GeoDZ. All rights reserved.  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us