What Is Pain

The International Society of Pain (IASP), defined pain as an uncomfortable feeling and/or an unpleasant subjective, sensory and emotional experience associated with the actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage. The presence of pain often is an indication that something is wrong. Pain can appear suddenly or can come about slowly. It is also described as whatever the experiencing person says it is, existing whenever the person says it does. The guiding principle in pain care is that pain is whatever the patient says it is (Potter and Perry 2009).

Each individual is the best judge of his or her own pain. Feelings of pain can range from mild and occasional to severe and constant. Pain can be classified as acute pain or chronic pain.

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