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The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines pain as an unpleasant sensory and/or emotional experience, indicating actual or potential tissue damage. Pain can be experienced in anticipation of damage even when there is no identifiable damage to the tissues in which the pain is perceived, and it is often described using language that suggests injury or damage (e.g., burning, stabbing, or electric shock-like). Pain acts as a useful warning system to alert the brain to potential threats to the body and its self-regulating systems (homeostasis). It provides a powerful and helpful message that to continue with the painful activity will result in damage to the body, and it facilitates the development of survival behaviors. This entry outlines the concept of pain disorder, ...

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