Pain: is it a perception?

Is it accurate to say that you have a pain in your left foot because you feel – perceive – the pain there? Is feeling pain a perception? Many publications in the scientific pain field say so; e.g.:

“Pain is a complex, multidimensional perception that varies in quality, strength, duration, location, and unpleasantness.”

“The role of the cortex in human pain perception remained controversial until the advent of non-invasive brain imaging technologies. Over the last fifteen years solid evidence was generated indicating that multiple cortical and subcortical structures are involved in human pain perception. The general assumption from the studies performed in healthy subjects and studying primarily pain after acute, experimental stimuli, is the notion that activation of a fixed set of brain structures evoke this percept…”

Pain is a perception, not a sensation – Mick Thacker – One Thing

I think the view of pain as a perception merges qualities of what is experienced (e.g., the painfulness of the pain) with qualities of the experience (e.g., burning, stabbing, piercing).

The pain is what is painful, not the feeling of it.

In the same way, the white rose I see is white, not my seeing of it.
The tightness of my new shoes is not tight, the shoes are.
The bang I hear is loud, not my hearing of it.

Therefore, a perceived quality is not a quality of a perception. Pain is not a perception.

To feel pain is to have pain – not to feel pain and, in addition, to perceive it.

The meaning of coping with chronic pain – video presentation recording

Presented at the International Network for Research into Psychosocial Adjustment to Long-term Conditions (INRePALC)

1st International Online Networking Event
13th–17th September, 2021

Session Description: Let’s discuss what it means to cope with chronic pain – this is not a data presentation. Instead, I attempt to create a sense of enquiry and self-reflection on how to take the meaning of coping with chronic pain and apply it in the clinic. Thinking about what we do, and what the doing represents in the clinic, can be rewarding.

The meaning of coping with chronic pain

Presented at the International Network for Research into Psychosocial Adjustment to Long-term Conditions (INRePALC)

1st International Online Networking Event
13th–17th September, 2021

Session Description: Let’s discuss what it means to cope with chronic pain – this is not a data presentation. Instead, I attempt to create a sense of enquiry and self-reflection on how to take the meaning of coping with chronic pain and apply it in the clinic. Thinking about what we do, and what the doing represents in the clinic, can be rewarding.

View here.