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Article
July 23, 1927

PAIN: ITS VALUE; ITS ELUSIVENESS

JAMA. 1927;89(4):271-272. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690040011004
Abstract

The first step to successful treatment is a correct diagnosis. Pain, which is nature's semaphore, is an exceedingly important subjective symptom.

With modern methods of diagnosis pain, which is a purely subjective phenomenon, can almost be classed as an objective symptom. Often, for example, pressure might elicit pain, or movement might produce it; regardless of the stimulation, the questions of the precise nature of the pain, where and at what times experienced, are important factors, and however subjective the pain might be from the standpoint of the patient, its interpretation always presents to the physician a problem in objective diagnosis.

The experience of roentgenologists shows that the severity, persistence or total absence of pain are often at variance with the magnitude of the disease; also that many combinations or complications exist.

Roentgen-ray diagnosis often assists in explaining the cause of pain because it reduces the intangible to the tangible.

Pain

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