What is Pain? Experience Of Pain

Pain is the sensory and emotional experience of discomfort, which is usually Pain associated with actual or threatened tissue damage or irritation (Sanders, 1985). Virtually all people experience pain and at all ages from the pains of birth for mother and baby, to those of tummy ache and teething in infancy, to those of injury and illness in childhood and adulthood. Some pain becomes chronic, as with arthritis, problems of the lower back, migraine headache, or cancer.

People’s experience with pain is important for several reasons. For one thing, no medical complaint is more common than pain. According to researcher Paul Karoly, “pain is the most pervasive symptom in medical practice, the most frequently stated ‘cause’ of disability, and the single most compelling force underlying an individual’s choice to seek or avoid medical care” (1985, p.461). As we know that people are more likely to seek medical treatment without delay if they feel pain. Also, severe and prolonged pain can come to dominate the lives of its victims, impairing their general functioning, ability to work, social relationships, and emotional adjustment.

Last, pain has enormous social and economic effects on all societies of the world. In the United States at any given time, a third or more people suffer from one or more continuous or recurrent painful conditions that require medical care, and tens of millions of these people are partially or completely disabled by their

conditions. Americans spend tens of billions of dollars each year on pain-related expenses, such as for treatment, loss of income, disability payments, and litigation.

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