Maldynia: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the Illness of Chronic Pain

James Giordano

December 2, 2010 by CRC Press
Reference - 280 Pages - 33 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781439836309 - CAT# K11642


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  • Provides an overview of the history of pain and its treatment since Hippocrates
  • Addresses the neurobiology and experience of chronic pain
  • Discusses possible relationships of chronic pain to spirituality
  • Details the role and value of narrative and expression, as well as technology in assessing maldynic pain
  • Sets the basis for an ethic of pain care
  • Explores the problematic nature and implications of pediatric maldynia
  • Examines the importance of goal-directed health care


Whether initiated by injury or disease, induced and sustained by changes in the nervous system, or manifested by society and culture, chronic pain can change one’s first-person experience of the body and the world, and ultimately impacts cognitions, emotions, and behavior. Many fine medical books address the causes and management of chronic intractable pain, but rarely do they focus on the ways that such pain creates illness and is experienced and expressed by persons in pain.

Maldynia: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the Illness of Chronic Pain is about chronic pain that has progressed to a multidimensional illness state in and of itself. Although often dismissed as such, this pain is not imaginary, but rather represents an interaction of neurobiological processes, emotional and behavioral responses, and socio-cultural effects and reactions that become enduring elements in the life and world of the pain patient, and often remain enigmatic for those who provide care.

Taking a comprehensive approach that covers science, humanities, and culture, this volume emphasizes the need for researchers, clinicians, and caregivers to regard the ways in which chronic intractable pain becomes illness and affects a patient’s biological, social, and psychological states, as well as his or her sense of self. Edited by neuroscientist and neuroethicist James Giordano, this book contains 17 insightful chapters representing medicine, neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, ethics, history, art, and the ministry.

This exceptional volume also looks at representations of pain in and through the arts, addresses the assignation of values and meaning in pain assessment and treatment, and considers ways to conjoin the sciences and humanities so as to inform the practice of pain medicine and improve the care of those suffering the illness of chronic pain.