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.
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1. An unpleasant sensation associated with actual or potential tissue damage and mediated by specific nerve fibers to the brain where its conscious appreciation may be modified by various factors. 2. Term used to denote a painful uterine contraction occurring in childbirth. [L. poena, a fine, a penalty]
- after-pains afterpains.
- bearing-down p. a uterine contraction accompanied by straining and tenesmus; usually appearing in the second stage of labor.
- expulsive pains effective labor pains, associated with contraction of the uterine muscle.
- false pains ineffective uterine contractions, preceding and sometimes resembling true labor, but distinguishable from it by the lack of progressive effacement and dilation of the cervix.
- girdle p. a painful sensation encircling the body like a belt, occurring in tabes dorsalis or other spinal cord disease.
- growing pains aching pains, frequently felt at night, in the limbs of children; cause is unclear, but the condition is benign.
- hunger p. cramp in the epigastrium associated with hunger.
- intermenstrual p. 1. pelvic discomfort occurring approximately at the time of ovulation, usually at the midpoint of the menstrual cycle; SYN: midpain. 2. SYN: mittelschmerz.
- intractable p. p. resistant or refractory to ordinary analgesic agents.
- labor pains rhythmic uterine contractions that under normal conditions increase in intensity, frequency, and duration, culminating in vaginal delivery of the infant. SYN: parodynia.
- night p. SYN: nyctalgia.
- organic p. p. caused by an organic lesion.
- periodic bone p. SYN: periodic arthralgia.
- phantom limb p. the sensation that an amputated limb is still present, often associated with painful paresthesia. SYN: phantom limb, pseudesthesia (3), pseudoesthesia (3), stump hallucination.
- postprandial p. p. occurring after eating, typical of malignancy in esophagus or stomach.
- psychogenic p. somatoform p.; p. that is associated or correlated with a psychologic, emotional, or behavioral stimulus. SYN: psychalgia (2), somatoform p..
- referred p. p. from deep structures perceived as arising from a surface area remote from its actual origin; the area where the p. is appreciated is innervated by the same spinal segment(s) as the deep structure. SYN: telalgia.
- respirophasic p. p., often mistakenly termed pleuritic, that occurs or worsens synchronously with the respiratory cycle. [L. re-spiro, to breathe, + G. phasis, recurring appearance, as of a star, fr. phaino, to appear, + -ic]
- rest p. p. occurring, usually in the extremities, during rest in the sitting or lying position.
- somatoform p. SYN: psychogenic p..
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pyoderma gangrenosum, aphthous stomatitis, inflammatory eye disease, erythema nodosum [disorders associated with inflammatory bowel disease]

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pain 'pān n
1 a) a state of physical, emotional, or mental lack of well-being or physical, emotional, or mental uneasiness that ranges from mild discomfort or dull distress to acute often unbearable agony, may be generalized or localized, and is the consequence of being injured or hurt physically or mentally or of some derangement of or lack of equilibrium in the physical or mental functions (as through disease), and that usu. produces a reaction of wanting to avoid, escape, or destroy the causative factor and its effects <was in constant \pain>
b) a basic bodily sensation that is induced by a noxious stimulus, is received by naked nerve endings, is characterized by physical discomfort (as pricking, throbbing, or aching), and typically leads to evasive action
2) pains pl the protracted series of involuntary contractions of the uterine musculature that constitute the major factor in parturient labor and that are often accompanied by considerable pain <her \pains had begun>
pain vt to make suffer or cause distress to vi to give or have a sensation of pain

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an unpleasant sensation ranging from mild discomfort to agonized distress, associated with real or potential tissue damage. Pain is a response to impulses from the peripheral nerves in damaged tissue, which pass to nerves in the spinal cord, where they are subjected to a gate control. This gate modifies the subsequent passage of the impulses in accordance with descending controls from the brain. Because attention is a crucial component of pain, distraction can act as a basis for pain therapy. On the other hand, anxiety and depression focus the attention and exaggerate the pain. If the nerve pathways are damaged, the brain can increase the amplification in the pathway, maintaining the sensation as a protective mechanism.

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(pān) [L. poena, dolor; Gr. algos, odynē] a more or less localized sensation of discomfort, distress, or agony, resulting from the stimulation of specialized nerve endings. It serves as a protective mechanism insofar as it induces the sufferer to remove or withdraw from the source.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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