PAIN: Why It Hurts, Where It Hurts, When It Hurts by Richard Stiller

PAIN: Why It Hurts, Where It Hurts, When It Hurts

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For background, Stiller runs through a schema of the nervous system and examines a few hypotheses about the physiology of pain--including the gate control theory which attempts to explain how and when pain messages get through to the brain. Why some people have more tolerance than others is another open question which Stiller examines, with considerable sympathy for the crybabies. Elsewhere there are anecdotes about people who feel no pain at all (they don't live long) or do feel it in an amputated part, along with fleeting mention of different forms of anesthesia and analgesia (drugs, electricity, acupuncture) and a review of different kinds of pain: that of childbirth, which he finds heavily dependent on psychological conditioning, headaches (which account for 90 percent of all pain), and backache which is just one more human problem aggravated by the advent of the automobile. With speculation on such questions as why relatively minor cuts, burns and blows can cause intense suffering while such mass killers as high blood pressure and cancer trigger no such early warnings, it's an undemanding attention holder.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1975
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Nelson