1644 – Descartes’ Principles of Philosophy (read for free on Google Books) was published, in which he discussed pain in phantom limbs. From his observations, he deduced that pain was felt in the brain, not the phantom limb
17th Century – Cartesian Model of Pain. Rene Descartes claimed that pain was an exclusive process within the sensory nervous system. Cartesian Dualism, or separation of the mind and the body
1752 – at the University of Göttingen, Albrecht von Haller published his thesis (De partibus corporis humani sensibilibus et irritabilibus (www.archive.org) discussing the distinction between “sensibility” and “irritability” in organs, suggesting that nerves were “sensible” because of a person’s ability to perceive contact while muscles were “irritable” because the fiber could measurably shorten on its own, regardless of a person’s perception, when excited by a foreign body. Later in 1757, he conducted a famous series of experiments to distinguish between nerve impulses and muscular contractions. von Haller’s work was the beginning of what we now consider “myofascial” pain.
1811 – Charles Bell who discovered and named Bell’s Palsy expands on the Cartesian Model of Pain. An Idea of a New Anatomy of the Brain
1894 – The specificity theory of pain was put forth by Maximilian von Frey in 1894, proposed that there were subcutaneous receptors unique to the different types of sensory input. These receptors send messages to the brain through specific nerves. This does not explain chronic pain.
1894 – The pattern theory of pain, was proposed by Goldschneider differed from von Frey’s theory by stating that, not only were all subcutaneous receptors alike, but the unique patterns of stimulation at the nerve endings were what distinguished the variability in the interpretations of the sensory signals. It was assumed that the central nervous system was responsible for coding these nerve impulse patterns that resulted in the pain experience. Although this theory helped to explain incidences of phantom limb pain, which is described as experiencing pain after the termination of the input, the pattern theory of pain disregards receptor and fiber evidence which has come to fruition in recent developments.
1960s- Melzack and Wall postulated the gate control theory of pain which thought that pain could be reduced by specific stimulus to the area to stimulate the ‘gate’ that regulates the amount of information going to the nervous system.
1965 – Pain Mechanisms: A New Theory By Ronald Melzack, Patrick D. Wall Science19 Nov 1965 : 971-979
1968 – Ronald Melzack concluded that pain is a multidimensional complex with numerous sensory, affective, cognitive, and evaluative components. Melzack’s description has been adapted by the International Association for the Study of Pain in a contemporary definition of pain.
1977 – Biopsychosocial model first proposed by George L. Engel and Jon Romano of the University of Rochester
1998 – Book: The History of Pain, Roselyne Rey was a research fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, specializing in the history of medicine and the life sciences.
1999 -Neuromatrix Model of Pain, was proposed by Dr. Ronald Melzack, a psychology professor at McGill University in Montreal, Ontario. The theory is that the pain is interpreted by the brain based on past experiences, our mood, stress levels and many other factors. The neuromatrix is everything that happens between the brain and nervous system.
2013 – Katz updated the Neuromatrix Model of Pain.
2013 – Book: Explain Pain by David Butler and Lorimer Moseley