Etymology and Classification of Pain
– Pain first attested in English in 1297, derived from Old French ‘peine’ and Latin ‘poena’
– Pain also means torment, hardship, suffering in Late Latin and Greek
– Recommended features to describe a patient’s pain: region, system, duration, intensity, cause
– Helps identify specific characteristics, determine treatment options, and improve communication
– Enables accurate diagnosis and management of pain conditions

Chronic versus Acute Pain
– Pain is usually transitory but can persist for years in some conditions
– Chronic pain lasts a long time, while acute pain resolves quickly
– Distinction based on duration, with varying definitions

Types of Pain
– Allodynia: pain in response to a normally painless stimulus
– Phantom pain: felt in amputated or disconnected body parts
– Causes of pain: abnormalities in the nervous system, nerve damage, spinal cord injury, diabetes, leprosy
– Functional effects of pain: impairments in attention, memory, problem-solving, information processing
– Negative emotions associated with pain: increased depression, anxiety, fear, anger

Theories and Understanding of Pain
– Historical theories proposed by ancient Greeks, Avicenna, Descartes
– Modern understanding: differentiation between noxious and non-noxious stimuli, nociceptors, pain signaling pathways

Evolutionary and Behavioral Role of Pain
– Pain is part of the body’s defense system and serves as a warning signal
– Congenital insensitivity to pain reduces life expectancy
Pain may be shaped by natural selection as a signal for relief and care
– Idiopathic pain may be an exception to pain’s helpfulness for survival
– Pain thresholds: pain perception, pain threshold intensity, pain tolerance
– Assessment of pain: self-report, healthcare professionals’ perception, pain intensity scales, multidimensional pain inventory
– Assessing pain in non-verbal individuals: observation of behaviors, changes in routine, crying in infants

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
pain (noun)
- punishment
a) usu. localized physical suffering associated with bodily disorder (as a disease or an injury) , also a basic bodily sensation induced by a noxious stimulus, received by naked nerve endings, characterized by physical discomfort (as pricking, throbbing, or aching), and typically leading to evasive action
b) acute mental or emotional distress or suffering - grief
the throes of childbirth
trouble, care, or effort taken to accomplish something - was at pains to reassure us
one that irks or annoys or is otherwise troublesome - often used in such phrases as pain in the neck
pain (verb)
transitive verb
to make suffer or cause distress to - hurt
intransitive verb
archaic to put (oneself) to trouble or exertion
archaic - suffer
to give or have a sensation of pain
Merriam-Webster Online Thesaurus
pain (noun)
a sharp unpleasant sensation usually felt in some specific part of the body
ache, pang, prick, shoot, smart, sting, stitch, throe, tingle, twinge
discomfort, distress, soreness, tenderness; affliction, agony, anguish, misery, sufferance, suffering, torment, torture; inflammation, sore, swelling; damage, detriment, harm, hurt, injury; backache, bellyache, charley horse, colic, complaint, earache, gripe, headache, stomachache, toothache
comfort, ease, easiness
pain (noun)
a state of great suffering of body or mind
affliction, agony, anguish, excruciation, hurt, misery, pain, rack, strait(s), torment, torture, travail, tribulation, woe
discomfort; cross, crucible, trial; heartache, heartbreak, joylessness, sadness, sorrow, unhappiness; emergency, pinch; asperity, difficulty, hardship, rigor; ache, pang, smarting, soreness, stitch, throe, twinge; danger, jeopardy, trouble
comfort, consolation, solace; alleviation, assuagement, ease, relief; peace, security; well-being
pain (noun)
strict attentiveness to what one is doing
carefulness, closeness, conscientiousness, heed, heedfulness, meticulosity, meticulousness, pains, scrupulousness
advertence, advertency, attention, concentration, focus, observance, observation; alertness, mindfulness, vigilance, watchfulness; dutifulness, irreproachability, irreproachableness, punctiliousness, responsibility; bother, effort, painstaking, trouble; exactness, particularity, precision
inadvertence, inadvertency, inattention, inobservance
heedlessness, inattentiveness, negligence
pain (noun)
the active use of energy in producing a result
elbow grease, exertion, expenditure, labor, pains, sweat, trouble, while, work
drudgery, grind, slog, strain, toil, travail; dint, energy; force, might, muscle, power, puissance; attempt, endeavor, essay, fling, go, pass, shot, stab, trial, try, whack
adroitness, ease, facility, fluency, smoothness; dormancy, idleness, inaction, inactivity, indolence, inertia, languor, laziness, quiescence
pain (noun)
one who is obnoxiously annoying
annoyance, annoyer, bother, gadfly, gnawer, nudnik ( nudnick), pain, persecutor, pest, tease, teaser
headache; harrier, heckler, interrupter ( interruptor); hassle, plague; harasser, molester, tormentor ( tormenter), torturer
charmer, smoothy ( smoothie); comforter, solacer, soother
pain (verb)
to feel or cause physical pain
ache, pain, smart
bite, bleed, burn, chafe, cramp, fester, itch, nag, pinch, pound, rack, sting, swell, throb, tingle, twinge; agonize, anguish, suffer; afflict, harrow, torment, torture
Pain (Wikipedia)

Pain is a distressing feeling often caused by intense or damaging stimuli. The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as "an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with, or resembling that associated with, actual or potential tissue damage."

An illustration of wrist pain
Pain medicine
SymptomsUnpleasant sensory and emotional sensations
DurationTypically depends on the cause
TypesPhysical, psychological, psychogenic

Pain motivates organisms to withdraw from damaging situations, to protect a damaged body part while it heals, and to avoid similar experiences in the future. Most pain resolves once the noxious stimulus is removed and the body has healed, but it may persist despite removal of the stimulus and apparent healing of the body. Sometimes pain arises in the absence of any detectable stimulus, damage or disease.

Pain is the most common reason for physician consultation in most developed countries. It is a major symptom in many medical conditions, and can interfere with a person's quality of life and general functioning. People in pain experience impaired concentration, working memory, mental flexibility, problem solving and information processing speed, and are more likely to experience irritability, depression and anxiety.

Simple pain medications are useful in 20% to 70% of cases. Psychological factors such as social support, cognitive behavioral therapy, excitement, or distraction can affect pain's intensity or unpleasantness.

Pain (Wiktionary)


Etymology 1

From Middle English peyne, payne, from Old French and Anglo-Norman peine, paine, from Latin poena (punishment, pain), from Ancient Greek ποινή (poinḗ, bloodmoney, weregild, fine, price paid, penalty). Compare Danish

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