Pain is occasionally felt not only at the site of stimulation but in other parts of the body supplied by nerves in the same sensory path for example, the pain of angina pectoris or coronary thrombosis may extend to the left arm. This phenomenon is known as referred pain. Subjective or hysterical pain originates in the sensory centers of the brain without stimulation of the nerves at the site of the pain.
Progress has been made in the management of chronic pain and in the education of patients and physicians in such techniques as biofeedback, acupuncture, and meditation and the appropriate use of narcotics and other medications. Using advanced medical-imaging technology, researchers have now located multiple pain centers in the cerebral cortex of the brain, offering promise of possible improvements in measuring and managing pain.
See F. T. Vertosick, Jr., Why We Hurt: The Natural History of Pain (2000).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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