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Multiple Facets of Pain due to Injury

According to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), pain is defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional (conscious) experience associated with actual and potential tissue damage (www.isappain. org). Although unpleasant, pain plays an important role as a warning signal of harm giving rise to a number of physiological, physical, psychological and behavioral responses to injury, and initiating the processes necessary for recuperation and repair. Therefore, pain should be considered as a highly adaptive mechanism aimed at preventing further harm to the organisms and exaggerating the injury. Due to the highly subjective nature of pain, depending on individually perceived and psychologically appraised situations, pain can occur even in the absence of tissue damage, or when tissue damage is completely healed. This is the so-called “neurotic pain” phenomenon, which remains poorly understood and presents a real challenge for clinical professionals. There are numerous peripheral and central nervous system substrates clearly distinguishing “pure pain” and “affectivemotivational” pathways. These well-documented and clearly indentified pain pathways are indeed in support of the notion that both physical and psychological pain are an adaptive and/or maladaptive response to harmful stimuli. Problems with “pain” studies is that there are multiple confounding factors such as age, gender, history of painful experiences and injuries, underlying disabilities that may or may not be associated with painful experiences, social and cultural norms about the acceptance of pain behavior, environmental circumstances, etc., that influence a person’s pain responses.

Keywords

Chronic Pain Dorsal Root Ganglion Neuropathic Pain Dorsal Horn Acute Pain 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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