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Pain demands an explanation

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Ever notice how rare it is for people to just say “I have chronic pain” without also including some kind of theory, some hypothetical diagnosis?

This always reminds me of the way almost everyone thinks they are above average. 😏 Many people believe that they understand their pain, and some surely do, but they cannot possibly all be right — not even close. The ideas range widely, from the medically mainstream, to more creative but reasonable hypotheses, to odd pet theories, to muddled clichés, to full-blown crackpottery.

Moody, ominous photo of a smokey red sky over a dark horizon, with a quote superimposed: “One of the principle qualities of pain is that it demands an explanation.” Anne Carson, Plainwater

The craving to make sense of pain is intense. Pain does indeed “demand” an explanation, and usually gets one … whether it makes a damned lick of sense or not!

PainSci Member Login » Submit your email to unlock member content. If you can’t remember/access your registration email, please contact me. ~ Paul Ingraham, PainSci Publisher