I recently read about a challenge by Dr. Morten Hoegh (NOI Group Faculty) regarding:
Can you come up with a definition on pain that live up to these requirements:
1. You must not be able to replace “pain” with “fear” or “anxiety” in the definition.
2. The definition must make sense even if you put “phantom pain” instead of “pain”.
3. It can’t be identical to already public definitions.
You could include the following ideas:
- pain is (as opposed to other feelings) localised in the body
- Pain relates to reliable information about survival (e.g. if you experience that you are in danger of injury)
- Pain motivates behaviour change
So…here is my definition based upon my clinical understanding of pain:
Pain: a neuroimmunological experience caused by a
cortical* pre-rational decision to protect the body based upon multiple variables including but not limited to those which are related to biological, psychological and social threats.
*Changed to “pre-rational” based upon suggestion by Diane Jacobs and my agreement.