Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Pain

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_1155

Synonyms

Definition

Pain is a noxious sensory phenomenon that provides information to organisms about the occurrence or threat of injury. Pain is also a multidimensional experience that results from a complex interaction between biological and psychological components and is further influenced by behavioral and social factors. The temporal course of pain can range from acute, or time-limited states in response to injury, to chronic states in which pain persists beyond the point of tissue repair or healing. Although the Gate Control Theory (Melzack & Wall, 1967) provides a unified model of pain, a variety of pain subtypes exist that have different underlying mechanisms.

Description

Neurobiology of Pain

A primary function of the nervous system is to communicate information to alert organisms to the experience or threat of injury. Therefore, the noxious qualities of pain function to capture our attention and motivate...

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References and Readings

  1. Bielefeldt, K., & Gebhart, G. F. (2006). Visceral pain: Basic mechanisms. In S. B. McMahon & M. Koltzenburg (Eds.), Wall and Melzack’s textbook of pain (pp. 721–736). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Preventive MedicineFeinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesClinical Psychology Division, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern UniversityChicagoUSA