Exploring the perception of pain
by Fernando Cervero
When we touch something hot, our brain triggers a reflex reaction that causes us to withdraw our hand, protecting us from injury. This type of pain, Cervero explains, is obviously positive for us; it acts as an alarm that warns us of danger and keeps us out of trouble. But not all pain is positive for us. There is another kind of pain that is more like a curse: chronic pain that is not related to an injury. This is a type of pain that fills medical practices and makes life miserable. Cervero describes the latest research into the mysteries of chronic pain and efforts to develop more effective treatments. The author reminds us that pain is the most common reason we seek medical advice, but it remains a biological enigma. It protects us, but not always. Its effects are not only sensory but also emotional. There is no way to measure it objectively, no diagnostic test that turns out positive for pain. The only way for a medical professional to assess it is to listen to the patient’s description of it. The idea of pain as proof of character or punishment for coming into the world has changed; pain prevention and treatment have become increasingly important issues for researchers, clinicians and patients. Cervero’s work brings us closer to understanding the meaning of pain.
Fernando Cervero was born in Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) into a Spanish colonial family. He graduated in medicine in 1972 from the University of Madrid, where he also obtained a PhD in Neuroscience. In 1975 he moved to Edinburgh (UK) for a post-doctorate. He remained there for eight years, the last four of which as Assistant Professor in Physiology. After twelve years as Associate Professor in Physiology at the University of Bristol (UK) and another eight at the University of Alcala (Madrid, Spain) as Full Professor and Head of the Physiology Department, he moved to Montreal where he became Director of the Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain at McGill University. He has spent his entire career studying neurobiology underlying pain mechanisms. He was President of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) from 2012 to 2014. He is Professor Emeritus at McGill University and Honorary Professor at the University of Bristol.
Publisher: Advanced Osteopathy Edition
Translation: Emanuele Botti, Vincenzo Cozzolino, Lucia Cardinali
Graphic design: Ruben Volpin Bernardi e Marianna Avalli
Format: Perfect binding paperback
Dimensions: 14,8×21 cm
Number of pages: 200
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