Passing on a kidney stone is one of the most physically painful things a person can go through this side of childbirth. And a new study published this week in Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggests that they’re seemingly becoming more common. But by how much, and why, we’re still not really sure.
If you’ve decided, this year, to start working out, you might have noticed a strange phenomenon: You’ll leave the gym feeling fine, and then two days later wake up sore. This weird time-lag appears unique to exercise, and is, when you think about it, kind of inexplicable—like stubbing your toe, feeling nothing, and…
Earlier this month, scientists discussed a new syndrome, “Marsili syndrome,” a rare disorder in which people feel significantly less pain than others—so little pain, in fact, they they can break bones without noticing. As far as scientists can tell, there’s only one family that has Marsili syndrome: The Marsili family…
An Italian woman, her two daughters, and her three grandchildren have always had trouble feeling pain. They can’t sense temperature. They break bones without noticing. Now, a team of scientists in the United Kingdom think they’ve figured out why.
Babies can’t tell us how much pain they’re in, which poses a problem for healthcare practitioners who are trying to manage their care. A new technique that uses non-invasive brain scans overcomes this frustrating limitation by providing what may be the first objective measure of infant pain.
Deception is necessary for placebo pills to work, or at least that’s the conventional wisdom. A surprising new study on patients with chronic back pain shows that we still experience the placebo effect, even when we know we’re being tricked.
My mother’s pain has hovered over my entire life. As a child I heard her screams at night, accompanied her to hospitals, watched her careful pill counting with mounting anxiety as the end of the prescription approached. I saw how some people recoiled from her frantic energy in emergency rooms and on the street.…
There are a lot of unpleasant experiences you can go through in life, but few might be as excruciating as the Lego Treadmill Challenge created by the brave souls at WheresMyChallenge. The idea is simple: see how long you can walk barefoot on a treadmill while random Lego pieces are poured on it. The hard part is…
In 1985, a premature baby was born in Maryland who needed surgery to tie off a dangerous blood vessel near his heart. The newborn, Jeffrey, died weeks after the procedure. His family learned afterwards that none of the procedures had been performed with analgesics; the only drug administered was a muscle relaxant.
It’s a common phenomenon: a touch that normally feels a bit painful can feel much nicer when you’re sexually aroused.
The Ig Nobel awards ceremony is a marvelous spectacle encrusted with tradition. But if you really want to know how the winners did their work and why, you need to go to the Ig informal lectures, held at MIT the Saturday after the awards.
Why do we seek out challenging experiences in the outdoors? And why does the pain, suffering and risk make them more rewarding? We talked to a leading sports psychologist to find out.
An analysis conducted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health has found that an alarming number of Americans experience varying levels of pain on a regular basis. Not surprisingly, people who suffer from frequent bouts of severe pain are also having to cope with diminished health.
Dentists are scary. Even in the most modern medical scenario, it is undeniably horrifying for someone to stick sharp objects in your mouth. Imagine what it was like 14,000 years ago. Actually, you don’t have to because a team of scientists just found the earliest example of dentistry, and it’s fucking horrifying.
Sex should be fun, but for many people pain is not. Nevertheless, sex sometimes surprises us with a side of pain. It might be fleeting–from a lack of lubrication, an unexpected muscle cramp, some chafing or pinched skin, or it could be the result of a more serious medical condition. But whether it’s from shame or…
Who cares if smartphones give you eye cancer and brain tumors? There's something much worse that your cell and tablet are doing to your head: They're giving your neck and lower face a crease. A crease. That's horrifying and you're doing nothing to stop it.
Pain. Tears. Hurt. Agony. Numbness. Burning hell. When an entire orchestra decides to make the questionable life decision to all eat the world's hottest chili peppers at the same time and then perform a song, all of that and more happens to them. For us watching though? It's just funny as hell.
Jabbing a steel needle into your flesh is not ever going to be fun, per se, but scientists have found a way to make it at least hurt a lot less. The trick is actually fooling your nerve cells with a small device that applies pressure and vibration. Here's how it works.
While it's still unclear whether or not plants can actually feel us sinking our teeth in, one thing is for certain: You can be damn well sure they're hearing it.