Meanings of Pain Book Series

Meanings of Pain is a three-volume interdisciplinary book series edited by Dr Simon van Rysewyk and published by Springer.

Meanings of Pain: Volume II Common Types of Pain and Language (2019)

  • Provides a study of pain in which meaning is essential to the way pain is felt
  • Describes meanings of pain in patients with common forms of chronic pain
  • Discusses the importance of meaning in pain assessment, diagnosis, clinical language and medical stigmatisation

Experiential evidence shows that pain is associated with common meanings. These include a meaning of threat or danger, which is experienced as immediately distressing or unpleasant; cognitive meanings, which are focused on the long-term consequences of having chronic pain; and existential meanings such as hopelessness, which are more about the person with chronic pain than the pain itself.

This interdisciplinary book – the second in the three-volume Meanings of Pain series edited by Dr Simon van Rysewyk – aims to better understand pain by describing experiences of pain and the meanings these experiences hold for the people living through them. The lived experiences of pain described here involve various types of chronic pain, including spinal pain, labour pain, rheumatic pain, diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome, endometriosis-associated pain,and cancer-related pain. Two chapters provide narrative descriptions of pain, recounted and interpreted by people with pain.

Language is important to understanding the meaning of pain since it is the primary tool human beings use to manipulate meaning. As discussed in the book, linguistic meaning may hold clues to understanding some pain-related experiences, including the stigmatisation of people with pain, the dynamics of patient-clinician communication, and other issues, such as relationships between pain, public policy and the law, and attempts to develop a taxonomy of pain that is meaningful for patients. Clinical implications are described in each chapter.

This book is intended for people with pain, their family members or caregivers, clinicians, researchers, advocates, and policy makers.

“It is my opinion that this … work will stand as the definitive reference work in this field. I believe it will enrich the professional and personal lives of health care providers, researchers and people who have persistent pain and their family members. The combination of framework chapters with chapters devoted to analysing the lived experience of pain conditions gives the requisite breadth and depth to the subject.” – Dr Marc A. Russo, MBBS DA(UK) FANZCA FFPMANZCA, Newcastle, Australia, from the Foreword

Review the Table of Contents and buy now on Springer.

Meanings of Pain, Volume II, follows on from Meanings of Pain, Volume I, published in 2016 by Springer.

Meanings of Pain: Volume I (2016)

  • First book devoted to study of the meanings of pain
  • Explains why meaning is important in the way that pain is felt
  • Promotes integration of qualitative and quantitative research methods to study meanings of pain
  • Includes insights about meaning that can aid in the clinical management of patients with pain

Although pain is widely recognised by clinicians and researchers as an experience, pain is always felt in a patient-specific way rather than experienced for what objectively it is. This fact about pain experience makes perceived meaning important in the study of pain. The contributors featured in Meanings of Pain Volume I explain why meaning is important in the way that pain is felt and describe ways in which meanings can be studied or described in the clinic. For the first time in a book, the study of the meanings of pain is given the attention it deserves.

All pain research and medicine inevitably must negotiate how pain is perceived, how meanings of pain can be described within the fabric of a person’s life and neurophysiology, what factors mediate them, how they interact and change over time, and how meaning impacts on the clinician-patient relationship.

Though meanings of pain are not widely studied in contemporary pain research or described in clinical pain assessment, no pain researcher or clinician can avoid asking questions about what pain means to people or the types of data and scientific methods needed to describe them.

This book is the first in a three-volume series, published by Springer.

Review the Table of Contents and buy now on Springer.

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