Pain.

This artwork made me think about how physical pain isn’t always on the surface it can be all over their body. It depicts someone leaning over with red/fiery spots all over their body, it seems to be overwhelming the person. People can try to hide what is happening with them and feel numb. I can relate to this because when I tore my hamstring, I obviously felt the pain from the injury in my leg, but I could feel like something was missing from me. It affected me physically in how I acted around each other and presented¬† myself because the pain was a part of me at that moment and I couldn’t get rid of it.¬† My interpretation could be very different from others, but we all feel our physical pain in different ways at it manifests in a personal level. I feel like thinking about the pain experience is too complicated to understand just by looking at an image. I think a useful tool could be showing your patient an image like this and see how they would describe it because that could give you insight into how they view pain.

When you see this image, how would you describe the pain they are feeling?

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  1. When I see this image I think of nerve pain- a fire/ burning sensation. Each body part being lit up throughout the body, effecting the entire thing. Also, by the way this person is positioned- hands on head and body slumped reveals mental pain as well. They may feel defeated and upset by the physical pain they feel.

  2. I would describe this picture as radiating pain that is affecting the person systemically. It looks to be focused in the joints, but is spreading around the body, and I think that the individuals posture really seems to correlate with the pain that is shown.

  3. When I look at the image I think of someone who has physical pain as well as emotional/mental pain, as the distributions of the red dots go throughout the body and the head. This shows that chronic multi-joint pain has an impact on the individual as a whole.

  4. I think this picture shows how pain can be referred throughout the body due to nervous system malfunctions. As future health professionals, we need to always recognize that patient’s pain can come from other places in the body than the site of the pain, or else we will fail to give proper care. I also enjoyed how you related the picture and analysis to one of your own experiences of physical pain!

  5. When I see this image, I get the sense that this person is suffering from a flareup of neuropathic pain that is overwhelming. His nervous system is lit up brightly, indicating that virtually every neuron is firing on overdrive. Additionally, it seems that the pain is forcing the man to into a recovery position because it is too much to bear.

  6. Jeff – I like your idea of using art to help elicit responses and gain insight from your patients. That can be a very effective strategy – particularly for patients who may have a hard time putting their sensations into words.
    SES

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