Should Pain Be Treated As A Disease? Essay

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Should pain be treated as a symptom or a disease in its own right?

Pain is a distressing feeling often caused by intense or damaging stimuli. It is a complex and subjective phenomenon, and defining it has been a great challenge. The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) describes pain as ‘an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage’. Pain is a major healthcare problem worldwide. Although acute pain may reasonably be considered a symptom of disease or injury, chronic pain is a complicated matter. On the other hand, disease can be described as ‘any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of any body part, organ, or system that is manifested by a characteristic set of symptoms and signs whose aetiology, pathology, and prognosis may be known or unknown.’. In this essay I will be exploring the different kinds of pain, and reasons for and against the argument to define chronic pain as a disease in its own right.
The definition provided by the IASP, encompasses three aspects: the experience which is both sensory and emotional; the association of this particular experience to tissue damage; and the anticipation of tissue damage (“potential”). The definition’s footnote also states, “Pain is always subjective,”. Pain is a conscious sensation, and therefore it can be said that pain cannot exist without consciousness. Nociception on the other hand is a
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