Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pain has both physical and emotional components. The physical part of pain results from nerve stimulation. Pain may be contained to a discrete area, as in an injury, or it can be more diffuse, as in disorders like fibromyalgia. Pain is mediated by specific nerve fibers that carry the pain impulses to the brain where their conscious appreciation may be modified by many factors.
Pain is also a term specifically used to denote a painful uterine contraction occurring in childbirth.
The word "pain" comes from the Latin "poena" meaning a fine, a penalty.
Quick GuidePain Management: Surprising Causes of Pain
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
Pain Management Resources
Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016