Our World Can Be Beautiful

Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world. Take care of our inner world and plant the seeds of goodness & love. All other things will fall into place.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

What is Pain?

Up till today, scientist has very little understanding of how pain works. Some scientists describe pain as “a complex mixture of emotions, culture, experience, spirit and sensation."

I came across a very interesting situation when watching a drama show.

A patient’s right foot was infected with flesh-eating bacteria. For the past few days, he had been living in agony and pain in his right foot. The infection was so bad that the doctor had no choice but to amputate his right leg, from the knee down.

After the operation, his right leg, from the knee down was gone. But for the next few days, the patient still complains about pain in his right leg.

There was once in the lift, he met with a very experience doctor. He told the doctor, there is still pain in his right leg. The doctor asked him to close his eyes, feel the pain and tell him where the pain is. He close his eyes and told the doctor, the pain is in his right foot, and he then uses his hands and try to touch his right foot where the pain was.

Of course, he couldn’t feel anything down there as his right foot had already been amputated. Shocked, he looked at the doctor. The doctor then explained to him that the painful part of his leg is already gone, but his mind has yet adjusted to the new situation.

Now comes the big question.

If his leg is gone but he is still feeling the same pain, is the pain in his leg or in his mind all this time?


Mark said...

Very interesting. This is call phantom limbs or phantom pain. This is quite common with amputees. The answser is the pain is always in the mind, that is why we can control pain and that is why what may be very painful to one person is a mild discomfort to the other.

lilifxt said...

thx for that post i beleive the pain was in his mind after the operation because it is the sorrow of loosing part of him he couldnt adjust himself
best wishes

WaterLearner said...


Thanks for sharing this post! Now we very much more know the value of pain and even other things we marked as undesirable in life!


Jennifer said...

Nice post...

Neurologist, Dr. Ramanchandran of UCSD, has a fabulous book, Phantoms of the Brain, wherein he discusses this phenomenon a tad.

The pain is in the brain. The receptor sensory nerves in the brain are "connected" to the nerves once belonging to the leg. It takes a few days for the brain to realize the nerves are no longer there and to "disconnect"!

It is truly fascinating!

Thanks for this fun post!