Pain as a chronic illness

Pain can be a symptom of something being amiss, but pain can also be a disease that persists. As a stressor, pain can instigate biological changes that encourage still other illnesses. This link provides a very interesting TED talk on this topic.

Pain – what’s it good for anyway?

This SciShow video provides a very interesting presentation concerning the adaptive function of pain. It also gives an excellent explanation of some of the neuronal processes related to pain, and tissue damage that can occur leading to pain. As well, the video offers a very good presentation of pain relieving treatments, and how they work.

Pain processes

These videos gives us an excellent window on pain at different levels of the nervous system, including Gate control processes, neurotransmitter involvement in pain and the influence of cognitive processes on pain perception. Once again, there are sections that are bit complex for those who are not neuroscientists, but you will nevertheless get the overall perspective.

Social pain

There are many stressors that we can encounter, but one of the worst comprises social pain. What is worse than your two best friends suddenly dumping you and you do not know why? You have been ostracized and it hurts. In this TEDx talk, Matthew Lieberman provides a terrific description of social pain, and makes the point that social pain influences the same neural circuits as physical pain and is there an adaptive component to this. In fact, social needs are so fundamental that they should be considered as one of our basic survival needs.

What we lose when we undertreat pain

Kate Nicholson | TEDxBoulder

There has recently been a movement against the use of opioids to treat pain for fear that it could cause substance use disorder or addiction. Yet, opioids can make life bearable for many people. So, what is worse, the addiction or the pain that would otherwise be experienced? Kate Nicholson tells you about her experiences in this regard.

The pace of pain

Amberly Lago | TEDxBerkeley

Here we hear from Amberly Lago about her pain following being hit by a car. More than that, she also tells us lots about every pain remedy imaginable. Listen to what she did to help herself. It might sound a bit corny, but it works for some people when everything else fails. The entire video is captivating, but the last minute is superb.

How Aspirin works on pain and on the heart

It is been said that aspirin is a miracle drug because of its multiple positive effects. In the first of these videos we see how pain messages are created and how aspirin interferes with this process. The second video informs us of how aspirin can limit heart disease (although this view, in general, has recently been challenges). Finally, the third video informs us how aspirin fights fever.


Opioids can affect pain perception by operating at several levels of the nervous system. The first of this series of videos provides a very brief tour on this topic. The next video goes deeper into these processes explaining the neurochemical processes activated by opioids. The third video gives you some insights into how opioid acting agents can influence substance use disorder.