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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/2780

Title: Bodies in pain: an examination of complex regional pain syndrome
Authors: Williams, Sonia Chhibber
Keywords: History;Reflex sympathetic dystrophy;Public Health
Issue Date: 25-Jun-2008
Abstract: The system of patient health includes all individuals and groups who influence treatment for patients. This system includes scientists and researchers, government institutions, medical professionals, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and patients who together establish a knowledge base and belief system about treatment, pain, diagnosis, and disease; and define ways in which diseases are categorized, experienced, interpreted, and managed. Thus, diseases are embedded in social contexts, in which patients play a role in determining their own health and care. The neurological disease, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) offers a contemporary case study based on historical ideas of how neurologists have studied and treated pain. Notably, the diverging fields of neurology and psychiatry throughout the 20th century left experts on both sides vying for authoritative claim over certain diseases, while disciplinary lines once again became blurred over other “fringe” diseases. Moreover, issues of blame, responsibility, knowledge and authority are assigned to different groups, where society and history each play a part. Pain is a complex mechanism which doctors and historians have struggled to understand for centuries. Understanding pain is thus an important part of the history of medicine. It is a global problem, perhaps the most daunting problem with which contemporary researchers struggle. It is no wonder that doctors who research pain are drawn to CRPS, the most painful of all painful diseases. CRPS fits into a long history of how doctors and historians have studied pain and disease. The history of neurology informs us of how CRPS is studied today, where doctors like Schwartzman are an example of how and why people are finding new techniques to alleviate pain within a contemporary model of chronic pain management and against the backdrop of the universal human experience.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/2780
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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