Pain and suffering

Clin J Pain. 2000 Jun;16(2 Suppl):S2-6. doi: 10.1097/00002508-200006001-00002.


It is suffering, not pain, that brings patients into doctor's offices in hopes of finding relief. Astounding developments in our understanding of the mechanisms of nociception should not cause us to lose sight of our patients' goals. Chronic pain is far more than a sensory process. We must maintain the biopsychosocial model of chronic pain if we are to provide effective health care to our patients. Understanding the components of pain facilitates this goal. Suffering is an emergent property of the human brain and is dependent upon consciousness. It too is worthy of study by scientists and of concern to clinicians.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Nociceptors / physiology*
  • Pain / physiopathology*
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Sick Role*