Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pain has both physical and emotional components. The physical part of pain results from nerve stimulation. Pain may be contained to a discrete area, as in an injury, or it can be more diffuse, as in disorders like fibromyalgia. Pain is mediated by specific nerve fibers that carry the pain impulses to the brain where their conscious appreciation may be modified by many factors.
Pain is also a term specifically used to denote a painful uterine contraction occurring in childbirth.
The word “pain” comes from the Latin “poena” meaning a fine, a penalty.
Margo McCaffery: “‘Pain is whatever the experiencing person says it is, existing whenever he says it does”
According to various statistics, about 15% to 30% of the US population (amounting to about 70 million people) is suffering from chronic pain. Economically, the management of pain cost more than the treatment for heart disease and cancer combined. In the US, roughly 100 billion dollars per year is lost due to pain in medical costs, compensation and sickness absenteeism.
This website, setup and written by five Registered Nurses, explores a variety of pain management options in diverse populations and settings.