Listen free for 30 days

Understanding Pain

Exploring the Perception of Pain
Narrated by: Randal Schaffer
Length: 7 hrs and 11 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Biology
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

In Understanding Pain, Fernando Cervero explores the mechanisms and the meaning of pain. You touch something hot and your brain triggers a reflex action that causes you to withdraw your hand, protecting you from injury. That kind of pain, Cervero explains, is actually good for us; it acts as an alarm that warns us of danger and keeps us away from harm.

But, Cervero tells us, not all pain is good for you. There is another kind of pain that is more like a curse: chronic pain that is not related to injury. This is the kind of pain that fills pain clinics and makes life miserable. Cervero describes current research into the mysteries of chronic pain and efforts to develop more effective treatments. Cervero reminds us that pain is the most common reason for people to seek medical attention, but that it remains a biological enigma. It is protective, but not always. Its effects are not only sensory but also emotional. There is no way to measure it objectively, no test that comes back positive for pain; the only way a medical professional can gauge pain is by listening to the patient's description of it. Cervero's account brings us closer to understanding the meaning of pain.

The book is published by MIT Press.

©2012 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (P)2017 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"A remarkably lively tour of what we do know...Cervero provides a rich and historical backdrop, and layers his explanations with colourful metaphors and relatable examples." ( New Scientist)
"Fernando Cervero's unique ability to provide an understanding of the complex experience of pain will be appreciated by everyone." (Ronald Dubner, University of Maryland School of Dentistry)
"An enjoyable and thought-provoking work, written in an accessible style that will be welcomed by those who are interested in the discipline of pain and have some background knowledge in neuroscience." ( Times Higher Education)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Interesting

Very well presented and calculated. Just bordering on technical but quite fascinating. Personally I'd like more information on the specifics of brain mechanisms underlying pain, but I understand that many readers would dread my suggestion.

Narration is fine if rather patchy.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-11-18

good picture of pain

overall an informative synopsis on the literature in pain science, covering what happens peripherally and what happens centrally (especially at the spinal cord). #pain #tagsgiving #sweepstakes #painscience

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Damon
  • Damon
  • 03-07-19

Insightful scientific excurse

For someone who begins to study the pain, this was a very useful and insightful scientific excurse through the world of pain.