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Chapter 11

PSYC 314 Chapter 11: Psyc 314 Textbook Chapter 11

Course Code
PSYC 314
David King

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PSYC 314: Textbook Final
Chapter 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
Chapter 11: the Nature and Symptoms of Pain
What is pain?
Pain- an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual
or potential tissue damage
Pain is important because:
o Most common medical complaint (80%)
o Severe and prolonged pain can dominate life
o Enormous social and economic effects on all societies
Qualities and dimensions of pain
Organic vs psychogenic
o Organic- clearly linked to tissue pressure or damage
o Psychogenic- pains could result from psychological processes
o Viewed on a continuum, not a dichotomy
o Somatic symptom disorder- when people experience long term pain
as a part of excessive concerns for their physical symptoms or health
Usually symptoms are medically not explained
Acute vs chronic pain
o Acute pain- discomfort people experience with temporary painful
conditions that last less than about three months. Higher levels of
anxiety while in pain
o Chronic pain- lasts more than a few months. Continue to have high
levels of anxiety and tend to develop feelings of hopelessness and
o Sleep and pain
A day with high levels of pain tends to be followed by poor
sleep, and poor sleep tends to be followed by heightened pain
Pain, depression, intrusive thoughts, and worry all impair sleep
Long term sleep deprivation increases people’s negative affect,
sensitivity to pain, and amount of pain experienced in future
o Three types of chronic pain:
Chronic-recurrent pain- stems from benign causes and
involves repeated and intense episodes of pain separated by
periods without pain. E.g. migraine headaches
Chronic-intractable-benign pain- refers to discomfort that is
typically present all fo the time, with varying levels of intensity,
and is not related to an underlying malignant condition e.g.
chronic lower back pain
Chronic progressive pain- continuous discomfort, associated
with a malignant condition, becomes increasingly intense as
the underlying condition worsens
Perceiving Pain
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Sense of pain has three unique properties:
o Receptor cells are different from those of other perceptual systems-
no specific receptor cells that transmit only info about pain
o Body senses pain in response to many noxious stimuli (cold,
lacerations, pressure)
o Almost always include a strong emotional component
Physiology of Pain
Noxious stimuli triggers chemical activity at the site of injury- releases
chemicals (serotonin, histamine, bradykinin) that promote immune system
activity, causing inflammation at the injured site, and activate endings of
nerve fibres in the damaged region, signaling injury
Afferent neurons (nocireceptors) of the PNS carry the signal of injury to
spinal cord, which then takes it to brain
Pain signals carried by afferent peripheral fibres of two types:
o A-delta fibres- coated with myelin. Associated with sharp, well-
localized, and distinct pain experiences
Go to motor or sensory area of brain
More likely to command immediate attention
o C fibres- transmit more slowly (not coated with myelin). More diffuse,
dull, burning, or aching pain.
Terminate mainly in brainstem and forebrain
More likely to affect mood and general emotion/motivation
Referred pain- pain originating from internal organs are often perceived as
coming from other parts of the body, usually near the surface of the skin.
Happens when sensory impulses from an internal organ and the skin use the
same pathway in the spinal cord.
Pain with no detectable current cause
Neuropathic pain- pains with no current cause. Result from current or past
disease of damage in peripheral nerves
Three common neuropathic syndromes:
o Neuralgia- recurrent episodes of intense shooting or stabbing pain
along the course of a nerve. Sometimes occurs after infection
o Causalgia (complex regional pain syndrome)- typically involves
recurrent episodes of severe burning pain that often can be triggered
by minor stimuli such as a puff of air. Pain feels as though it originates
in an area of body where there was a previous serious wound
(gunshot wound)
o Phantom limb pain- pain in a limb that no longer exists
The Role of the Meaning of Pain
Masochists- enjoy pain
Pain means the end of an ordeal (soldier) = require less pain killers
Theories of pain
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find more resources at oneclass.com
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