Pain

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Tension-type headaches feel like a dull or heavy, non-pulsating band of pain, usually on both sides of the head. RXAphotos/Flickr

Health Check: what causes headaches?

Nearly every second person in the world had a headache at least once in the past year. But these can feel very different, depending on which of the nearly 200 types of headache you have.
Not hard to read. Eddy Van 3000

Do animals feel pain like we do?

Pain is a subjective experience that often relies on talking to patients so it's harder to know what animals think.
Your pain is in fact produced in your head and it will produce it more readily and more intensely if you have what you think is clear evidence that something is wrong. Mislav Marohnić/Flickr

No brain, no pain: it is in the mind, so test results can make it worse

People develop a long-term problem after an episode of back pain if they expect to not recover. Steps by the medical sector to avoid catatrophising back pain by not suggesting scans will help.
It’s not in the bones, but it might not be in the brain either. X-ray image by www.shutterstock.com

Chronic pain isn’t all in the brain, which is good news for sufferers

One in five of us has been experiencing chronic pain over the past three months, or longer. Chronic pain won’t kill us; it just makes our lives miserable. More miserable, research suggests, than for example…
Baby Joe (Joseph Christopher Wilson) at 1 day old did nothing but sleep, feed and cry.

Could more equal less when it comes to consciousness and pain?

Will we ever have a scientific measure of consciousness? This was the essay topic I set my student a few months ago – only days before I went on maternity leave for the recent birth of my baby Joe (more…
Chilli might make it seem as though your face is on fire – so why is milk so soothing? Andrés Nieto Porras

Explainer: why chilli burns, and milk helps soothe the pain

Whether it’s a few flakes on a pizza or the spiciest vindaloo known to humankind, most people can tolerate or even enjoy the tingling, burning sensation chilli can bring. So how does chilli deliver its…

Itches and pain distinguish skin cancers

The prevalence of itches and pain in patients with skin cancer can help clinicians identify which of these cancers are melanoma…
Only around 10% of the codeine dose will give you analgesia, but 100% of it will give you side effects. Andrzej Wilusz

Health Check: how do you choose strong painkillers?

Commonly used over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol, aspirin and ibuprofen will usually be strong enough to alleviate common aches and pains. But if you’re suffering from acute pain from dental…
Army recruitment: fear is a friend not foe. Matt Brock

Emotions affect how pain feels, as soldiers know only too well

Pain is one of the most powerful weapons of war. Western Front soldier and poet Siegfried Sassoon dubbed war a “sausage machine” because it tore through and crushed tissues and organs, and dismembered…

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