Meanings of Pain

Volume 2: Common Types of Pain and Language

  • Simon van Rysewyk

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Marie Crowe, Deb Gillon, Cate McCall, Jennifer Jordan
    Pages 59-76
  3. James E. Eubanks, Michael E. Farrell, Brandon S. Barndt, Chandler L. Bolles, Maria Vanushkina, James W. Atchison
    Pages 77-102
  4. Laura Whitburn, Lester Jones
    Pages 143-162
  5. Colleen Johnston-Devin, Florin Oprescu, Marion Gray
    Pages 163-183
  6. Sara E. Appleyard, Chris Clarke
    Pages 185-207
  7. John Quintner, Melanie Galbraith, Milton Cohen
    Pages 233-247
  8. Milton Cohen, John Quintner
    Pages 249-260
  9. Emma Borg, Nathaniel Hansen, Tim Salomons
    Pages 261-282

About this book


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


Pain Meaning Experience Phenomenology Neuroscience

Editors and affiliations

  • Simon van Rysewyk
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Humanities, Department of Philosophy and Gender StudiesUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

Bibliographic information