Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more
PainSci » bibliography » bios

Expert Profile: Dr. Ronald Melzack

record updated

Born in Montreal, Dr. Ronald Melzack revolutionized the study and treatment of pain. His pioneering theories in pain mechanisms and pain control have had a major impact on every field of medicine that deals with patients who suffer pain. He developed the gate-control theory of pain (in collaboration with neurophysiologist Dr. Patrick Wall), which produced an explosive growth of pain research. In 1968, he published an extension of the gate-control theory, proposing that pain is a subjective, multidimensional experience (as described in Pain is Weird). He also developed the McGill Pain Questionnaire, now the most widely used method for measuring pain in clinical research worldwide. And Dr. Melzack’s fascination with phantom limb pain led to a publication in 1989 of the “neuromatrix theory of pain,” in which he proposed that we are born with a genetically determined neural network that generates the perception of the body, the sense of self, and can also generate chronic pain, even when no limbs are present. Dr. Melzack was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1995, and was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2009.

~ Paul Ingraham, PainSci Publisher

Related Content

These three articles on mention Dr. Ronald Melzack as a source:

  1. Pain is Weird
  2. Does Ultrasound Therapy Work?
  3. Counterstimulation, Counterirritation, and Gate Control