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Thread: Pain

  1. #1 Pain 
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    I was wondering... is pain an accurate descriptor of how much damage is actually being done? Obviously, there are different types of pain, such as aches, bruises, and burns. From my experience, burns seem to be the most painful, but I don't know if I can say those are more severe than some of the cuts I've sustained.

    Obviously, I don't want to test this. That'll have to wait until I'm old enough to drink. However, the process of pain is kind of a blurry subject for me, so I was wondering what it's basic function, when you consider how we experience it.


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  3. #2  
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    Pain is a blurry subject in general, its not fully understood and there are psychological factors involved in pain. The reason is that pain is a perception, not necessarily a sensation. People may experience pain without any damage or may experience no pain when indeed they should (eg sports people who injure themselves during a game but only realise after the game).
    Also you may have heard about phantom limb where a person experience pain/cramps in a limb which has been amputated. One of the treatment being used is to hold a mirror by the removed limb showing the other, existing limb, so that the removed limb looks like its there, and, for example with a hand, to relax a clenched fist. This is quite successful in relieving people of pain, so was the pain there or was it just a psychological illusion/perception?

    The main theory used on pain is the Melzack & Wall Gate control theory which suggests that there is an input from the periphery about pain which is either accentuated or repressed by the CNS (in spinal cord) an other peripheral fibres before being sent to the brain as a net sum of these factors.


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  4. #3  
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    I'd agree it is partially perception.

    My pain sense seems to have dulled, that I often cut a finger and not notice till I've spread blood around a bit first.

    Its essentially a warning system.

    ...what do I know :P
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  5. #4  
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    I agree with freejack

    pain doesn't tell you 'there's a hole in my leg', it simply tells you 'hey, something's going on down there'. The intensity may change with the level of damage, but it's still not an accurate indicator.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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  6. #5  
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    As previously said, pain is just an indicator for improper function of an organ or damage caused to be body. For example the pain from appendicitis is warning sign for inflamed appendix and is caused without an interaction from the external world.
    Double Major: BioChemistry & Integrative Biology
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  7. #6  
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    pain is also relative to the amount of adrenaline in your body, the more adrenaline, the less you feel. so your sense of pain should be at its highest when you just woke up, or when you're tired,
    and the least when you are stressed, and in activity.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
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  8. #7  
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    I've often wished that it was possible to consciously override (or at least postpone) a certain pain!

    If one thinks of pain as the body's way of telling you that something is wrong, it seems logical that there should have been a function whereby one would tell your body, "Yes, I've taken note of the fact that something is wrong. Please "snooze" the unpleasant pain experience for a period of two hours / days / weeks while I take appropriate actions to rectify the problem!!". If this was possible you would be able to properly clean and stitch up a deep cut without experiencing more pain, because you've already assured your body that you know there's a problem and that you'll do something about it!

    If one of you know the programmers of human software, please ask them to add this function! I'm sure we'll have far more satisfied users of human bodies out there if they could click a pain away, instead of suffering for days on end with damage that they are fully aware of!
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  9. #8  
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    wow............ :x
    You atheist are are always denying the truth and don't want to here the truth its like you closing your ears.
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  10. #9  
    Ron
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    And what are we to make of the non-physical "pain" of mental anguish? The feeling experienced by the grief stricken, such as heartbreak over loss of a loved one, etc. Granted it's a very different kind of pain, but anyone who has ever experienced intense heartbreak knows that it can be every bit as intense and debilitating as physical pain. What mechanism in our body is causing this? What is it's biological function? This "unpleasant state of mind" is an interesting phenomenon and in my opinion is indeed a form of (mental) pain.

    Ron
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron
    And what are we to make of the non-physical "pain" of mental anguish? The feeling experienced by the grief stricken, such as heartbreak over loss of a loved one, etc. Granted it's a very different kind of pain, but anyone who has ever experienced intense heartbreak knows that it can be every bit as intense and debilitating as physical pain. What mechanism in our body is causing this? What is it's biological function? This "unpleasant state of mind" is an interesting phenomenon and in my opinion is indeed a form of (mental) pain.

    Ron
    True, pain and discomfort can also be caused mentally, without any physical source, but that isn't what this thread is about, is it?

    Although, it would also be interesting to relate the level of "mental" pain with the severity of emotional harm being suffered. If the "pain" level is either much higher or lower than the actual emotional damage, that is probably a sign of some mental / emotional disorder? Some people might freak out for seemingly insignificant reasons while others might not react to an appropriately intense level to intense situations! I know there are all kinds of subjectivity issues involved in my statement, but something like the notion of "the reasonable man" could be used to measure against.
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