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History of pain in children 

History of pain in children
History of pain in children

Anita M. Unruh

and Patrick J. McGrath

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date: 29 July 2021

The problem of pain has likely concerned humankind from the beginning as pain is a compelling call for attention and a signal to escape from its source. Early efforts to understand pain, and its origins, features, and treatment reflected the duality between spiritual conceptualizations of pain and physiological explanations depending on the predominance of such views in a given culture in any given historical period (McGrath and Unruh, 1987). In the absence of physiological or behavioural explanations to explain persistent pain without obvious injury, when spiritual perspectives dominated, prayer, amulets, supplication, and religious rites dominated approaches to pain treatment. Herbal remedies were often part of such strategies and might themselves have had potent properties (Unruh, 1992, 2007). In ancient writings about pain and disease, treatments for children were often given alongside discussions about the health issues of women. In this chapter, we trace early approaches to pain in children to the modern era highlighting points of transition and improvements in paediatric pain management.

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