What is pain? How is pain related to emotions, culture, and pleasure? What happens to us when we feel pain? Pain: A Very Short Introduction explores the history, culture, and medical science of pain. It charts the shifting meanings of pain across time and space, with the changing experience and treatment of pain. It describes historical hierarchies of pain experience related to social class and race, and the privileging of human pain over that of other animals. This VSI weaves a multifaceted account of pain, from pain concepts of classical antiquity to expressions of pain in contemporary art, and modern medical approaches to understanding, treating, and managing pain.