The Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) is one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century. Although famous for her colorful self-portraits and associations with celebrities Diego Rivera and Leon Trotsky, less known is the fact that she had lifelong chronic pain. Frida Kahlo developed poliomyelitis at age 6 years, was in a horrific trolley car accident in her teens, and would eventually endure numerous failed spinal surgeries and, ultimately, limb amputation. She endured several physical, emotional, and psychological traumas in her lifetime, yet through her art, she was able to transcend a life of pain and disability. Of her work, her self-portraits are conspicuous in their capacity to convey her life experience, much of which was imbued with chronic pain. Signs and symptoms of chronic neuropathic pain and central sensitization of nociceptive pathways are evident when analyzing her paintings and medical history. This article uses a narrative approach to describe how events in the life of this artist contributed to her chronic pain. The purpose of this article is to discuss Frida Kahlo's medical history and her art from a modern pain sciences perspective, and perhaps to increase our understanding of the pain experience from the patient's perspective.
Hawaa Dajan is a psychology honours student at USQ doing her research project on the relationship between emotional expression and pain/illness. Hawaa contacted me through FB and asked if I could share [...]
What great hope this pain management team provide. And I can’t help but think, well, ‘der’! I’m not being rude, but if professionals were able to understand the cultural background of the [...]
Unfortunately, it is all too common for the professional not to listen to the patient and not to believe in their pain. The focus on the ‘relief of suffering’ has almost got lost in modern medicine’s search for diagnosis and cure. It is hard enough to be coping with pain, but terrifying not to be believed when one goes for help. It should not take months of suffering and inadequate (or no) pain relief before a patient finally gets to a pain clinic.
In his theory, a stimulus triggers the Nav1.7 channel to open just long enough to allow the necessary amount of sodium ions to pass through, which then enables messages of stinging, soreness, or scalding to register in the brain. When the trigger subsides, Nav1.7 closes.