The Psychological Theories about Pain - Essay Example

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Pain is a common complaint in medical settings. It may be defined as an unpleasant sensory or emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage…
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The Psychological Theories about Pain
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This was the primary theory of pain until the middle of the 20th century. According to this theory, the damaged nerve fibers in our bodies send direct messages through the specific pain receptors and fibers to the pain center, the brain which causes the individual to feel pain (Adams and Bromley, 1998). Hence, the intensity of pain is directly related to the amount of associated tissue injury. It was believed that surgery or medication that took care of the tissue injury and its consequences should eliminate the root cause or source of pain. Although this assumption was valid for acute pain, it failed to take care of chronic pain. Patients were subjected to unnecessary procedures which only failed and led to further demoralization of the patient. Also, the fact that effectiveness of hypnosis as a mode of pain relief in the helpless Phantom limb’ pain further undermines this theory. As a result, this theory was discredited and evolvement of other theories occurred.
According to this theory, pain is felt as a consequence to the amount of tissue damaged and nerve fibers that carry pain signals can also transmit messages of cold, warmth and pressure. Actually, several different pattern theories were proposed and they considered brain as a passive receiver of messages. Both Pattern theory and Specificity theory do not include psychological aspects of pain. These theories could not reason why injured soldiers from war did not experience much pain as compared to others with similar injuries. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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