URL of this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/pain.html

Pain

Summary

Pain is a feeling triggered in the nervous system. Pain may be sharp or dull. It may come and go, or it may be constant. You may feel pain in one area of your body, such as your back, abdomen or chest or you may feel pain all over, such as when your muscles ache from the flu.

Pain can be helpful in diagnosing a problem. Without pain, you might seriously hurt yourself without knowing it, or you might not realize you have a medical problem that needs treatment. Once you take care of the problem, pain usually goes away. However, sometimes pain goes on for weeks, months or even years. This is called chronic pain. Sometimes chronic pain is due to an ongoing cause, such as cancer or arthritis. Sometimes the cause is unknown.

Fortunately, there are many ways to treat pain. Treatment varies depending on the cause of pain. Pain relievers, acupuncture and sometimes surgery are helpful.

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Diagnosis/Symptoms

  • Pain Assessment (Beth Israel Medical Center, Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care)
  • Pain Drawing (American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) - PDF

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Reference Desk

  • Glossary (Beth Israel Medical Center, Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care)

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Children

Women

  • Pain (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) - PDF

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