Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Psychogenic Pain

  • Natalie DattiloEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_2054


Psychalgia; Psychosomatic pain


Physical pain that is caused, increased, or prolonged by psychological (i.e., mental, emotional, or behavioral) factors. Also, a functional pain with no identified organic (i.e., physiological) cause

Historical Background

Hippocrates (400–300 BC) proposed one of the earliest theories of psychophysiological functioning when he suggested four bodily fluids (called “humors”) may be responsible for specific personality types as well as various physical and mental illnesses. However, with the advent of physical medicine during the Renaissance (1300–1600 AD), this proposed interaction of mind and body came to be regarded as unscientific. Many of the influential works of this era advanced the idea that a physical malady can (and should) be explained by its own mechanisms, thus separating the body from the mind. This view held until the emergence of behavioral medicine and health psychology in the 1960s. Major theories of this more recent era...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA