Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Chronic Pain Management
Carmen Reneé Green & Monica McPhail-Pruitt
Medical advances and interventions have yielded significant gains in life expectancy, but the increasing prevalence of pain complaints threatens to impair quality of life. Appropriate pain assessment and management present significant challenges for patients, health care providers, health care organizations, insurance providers, and health care policymakers. This entry provides an overview on chronic pain assessment and management. Pain involves damage to the body (e.g., twisting an ankle, burning a finger), communication that there is an injury from the site of the injury to the spinal cord (i.e., transmission), and last, communicating this information from the spinal cord to the brain where pain is perceived (i.e., perception). In addition, there is often an emotional response to pain. Pain is defined as an “unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.” This definition involves perception of a painful stimulus and reaction to the sensation, which includes a level ...