Pain: Dynamics and Complexities

Pain: Dynamics and Complexities

Daniel M. Doleys

Print publication date: Feb 2014

ISBN: 9780199331536

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Abstract

This resource presents the evolving concept and complex nature of pain with the intention of promoting a broadening of the existing paradigm within which pain is viewed and understood. Combining neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy of science, it reviews the history of pain and outlines the current concepts and theories regarding the mechanisms involved in the experience of pain. Experimental and clinical research in a broad array of areas including neonatal pain, empathy and pain, psychogenic pain, and genetics and pain is summarized. The notion of pain as a disease process rather than a symptom is highlighted. Although there is a continued interest in activation of the peripheral nociceptive system as a determining factor in the experience of pain, the growing appreciation for the brain as the intimate 'pain generator' is emphasized. The definition of consciousness and conscious awareness and a theory as to how it relates to nociceptive processing is discussed. Finally, it describes the potential benefit of incorporating some of the concepts from systems and quantum theory into our thinking about pain.