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Articles on Pain

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The science of dread: anticipating pain makes it worse

For most people, a chocolate today is better than one tomorrow. Economists refer to this as “future discounting”, where we prefer to have nice things now rather than wait and unpleasant things later rather…
Choose your over-the-counter painkiller based on the side effects you want to avoid. Image from shutterstock.com

Health Check: how do you choose over-the-counter painkillers?

If you’re anything like me, your medicine cupboard is chockers with various non-prescription pain remedies: liquids, pills, capsules, children’s painkillers, formulations that are “gentle on the stomach…
People who intentionally harm themselves aren’t always easy to identify or categorise. Noctem_/Flickr

Explainer: what is self-harm and why do people do it?

Deliberately inflicting pain or injury by cutting oneself or some other form of self-mutilation seems incomprehensible to many people. But it’s a common, typically secretive, experience for about 8% of…
Ouch. istolethetv

Explainer: why don’t some people feel pain?

For many years physicians and scientists have been studying people with congenital analgesia, a rare genetic disorder that means they don’t feel pain. People with the condition may have a sense of touch…

Pain can be objectively measured

Scientists have found a means to objectively quantify pain. University of Michigan researchers have found the brain’s signature…

New way to measure pain

Researchers have developed a technique for measuring pain using magnetic resonance imaging. Over four studies they identified…
You may not forget the pain, but if you’re lucky, the end will justify the means. Image from shutterstock.com

Monday’s medical myth: women forget the pain of childbirth

In an evolutionary sense, memory of pain serves an important purpose. Pain indicates a threat to our safety or our life, and human survival depends on us avoiding things that are going to kill us. Historically…
The genome of the frui fly may hold the key to treating chronic pain. Fruit fly image via www.shutterstock.com

Pain genes in mice and flies could help develop drugs for humans

Researchers have mapped the genes that control pain perception in fruit flies, mice, and potentially humans. The map consists…
Hypnosis is a state of conscious awareness which most people experience many times each day. Beyonder

Explainer: how does hypnosis relieve pain?

Hypnosis in one form or another has been around for thousands of years, but until recently, evidence to support its biological and clinically powerful effects have been lacking. Today hypnosis is used…

Sadness may enhance pain

Feeling sad while feeling pain may make the experience even more painful. Participants in a Japanese study were shown pictures…
Laughing in a group releases endorphins that help us cope with pain, a study has found. Flickr/puck90

Pain 10% more bearable after laughing with friends

Laughing with friends for around 15 minutes boosts a person’s pain threshold by an average of 10%, an international study…

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