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Flashcards in Pain Deck (21):
1

What is pain?

An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage

2

What are the different aspects of pain?

+ Socio-cultural influences
+ Subjective perception
+ Psychological influences
+ Genetic predisposition
+ Drug-use patterns
+ Biological element

3

What are the features of acute pain?

+ Intense, but time limited
+ Result of tisue damage or disease
+ Typically disappears over time as injury heals
+ Lasts < 6 months
+ Sufferers highly motivated to seek out its causes & treat it
+ Effectively treated by a number of pain-control techniques

4

What are features of chronic pain?

+ Often begins as acute pain
+ Does not dissipate after a min. 6 months (e.g lower-back pain, headache, pain associated with arthritis, cancer)
+ High anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, helplessness; due to a lack of medical treatment success
+ Interferes with daily life
+ 3 sub-categories

5

What are the 3 sub-categories of pain?

+ Recurrent acute
+ Intractable benign
+ Progressive

6

What are features of recurrent acute pain?

+ Caused by benign or harmless condition

+ Repeated, intense episodes separated by perood without pain

7

What are features of intractable-benign pain?

+ Benign but persistent pain

+ Varying levels of intensity, but never disappears

8

What are features of progressive pain?

+ Pain often originates from a malignant condition
+ Continuing pain, and discomfort
+ Pain worsens over time, as underlying condition worsens

9

What are the 3 theories of pain?

+ Specificity theory
+ Pattern theory
+ The Gate Control theory

10

What does Specificity theory propose?

+ No separate system for percieving pain

+ Pain results from the pattern or type of stimulation received by the nerve endings

+ Intensity of the stimulation is key determination of pain

+ Strong and mild stimuli of the same sense modality produce different patterns of neural activity

11

What does Pattern theory propose?

+ No separate system for percieving pain

+ Pain results from the pattern or type of stimulation received by the nerve endings

+ Intensity of the stimulation is key determination of pain

+ Strong and mild stimuli of the same sense modality produce different patterns of neural activity

12

What are limitations regarding Specificity & Pattery theories?

ST: incorrect - no specific receptor cells in body that transmit ONLY information about pain

PT: requires that stimuli triggering pain MUST be intense

+ Pain can be experienced without tissue damage (e.g phantom-limb pain)

+ Tissue damage can exist without pain (e.g athletes)

+ Both fail to account for the important role of psychology in the perception of pain

13

What does Gate Control Theory propose?

+ Nerve endings in damages area transmit impulses to the spinal cord

+ A 'gate' exists in the spinal cord ('nerual gate')
- OPEN to let pain signal through
- CLOSE to reduce the pain experience

+ Gating mechansim modulates incoming pain sugnals befire they reach the brain

+ Invludes the role of psychological factors in the experiences of pain

14

What is Gate Control influenced by?

1. Amount of actvity in pain fibres (A-delta & C):
- more activity > gate opens > more pain
- A-delta: pricking/ stabbing (fast impulse transmission)
- C: burning/ aching (slow impulse transmission)

2. Amount of activity in other peripheral fibres (A-beta)
- harmless stimuli or mild irritation (touching, rubbing)
- closes the gate > less pain

3. Messages descending from the brain - effects of anxiety, excitement etc. open/close the gate

15

What are features of The Gate Control Theory?

+ Includes psychological AND physiological factors

+ Explains why the same event can be interpreted by different people as more or less painful

+ Explains why sometimes pain is not experienced immediately

+ Describes the indicidual as having some control over the experiences of pain

16

How is pain measured/assessed?

Use two or more techniques:

1. Physiological
2. Self-report
3. Behavioural

17

What are the limitations of the physiological techniques used to measure/assess pain?

Relationship between physiological responses and experience of pain NOT CONSISTENT

18

What are the limitations of the self-report techniques used to measure/assess pain?

+ Often requires advanced verbal skills

+ Less useful for children/people not fluent in english

+ Misrepresentation via exaggeration or downplay pain experience

19

What are the psychological factors that influence the experience of pain?

+ Learning
+ Cognition
+ Personality
+ Stress

20

What are physical strategies/methods for pain management?

+ Medical treatments (analgesic drugs)

+ Surgical

+ Physical stimulation therapies

+ Physical therapy/exercise

21

What are psychological strategies/methods for pain management

+ Biofeedback

+ Relaxation and distraction

+ Cognitive methods

+ Behaviour therapy (operant approach)

+ Hypnosis