Also Known As: Pain, Pain Generalized, Generalized Pain.

Pain is an unpleasant feeling often caused by intense or damaging stimuli, such as stubbing a toe, burning a finger, putting alcohol on a cut, and bumping the "funny bone."[1] The International Association for the Study of Pain's widely used definition states: "Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage".[2]

With generalized pain, the pain does not have a specific location and can come from anywhere.

Pain motivates the individual to withdraw from damaging situations, to protect a damaged body part while it heals, and to avoid similar experiences in the future.[3] Most pain resolves promptly once the painful stimulus is removed and the body has healed, but sometimes pain persists despite removal of the stimulus and apparent healing of the body; and sometimes pain arises in the absence of any detectable stimulus, damage or disease.[4]

Pain is the most common reason for physician consultation in the United States.[5] It is a major symptom in many medical conditions, and can significantly interfere with a person's quality of life and general functioning.[6] Psychological factors such as social support, hypnotic suggestion, excitement, or distraction can significantly modulate pain's intensity or unpleasantness.[7][8]

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