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A Sample at the Extremes 

A Sample at the Extremes
A Sample at the Extremes

Kenneth L. Casey

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date: 17 April 2021

The broad, often extreme scope of pain experiences shows the range that must be covered to establish realistic models of pain neurobiology. These experiences include pain in the absence of tissue damage and, conversely, tissue damage without pain. The former condition occurs often following damage to the nervous system (neuropathic pain) and more commonly during migraine or so-called tension headache. The latter condition, apparently painless tissue damage, occurs most often under emotionally compelling circumstances in which there is a strong focus on attaining a highly desirable goal or reward (sports analgesia), a state of bliss unrealizable in ordinary life (ritual analgesia), or simply having the expectation, conscious or otherwise, that pain will be very much in the background (placebo analgesia). For an example of painless tissue damage, the reader is given a link to videos of surgery performed with acupuncture as the only anesthetic (author’s visit to China in 1974).

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