pain vs pains

Status Post

New Member
Dear All,

Could you please advise whether it is acceptable to use the word “pains” in scientific writing (e.g. retrosternal chest pains, abdominal pains,dull pains etc)? I have a nagging feeling that the word “pains” sounds too colloquial but I might be wrong.

Thank you!
Last edited:
  • DocPenfro

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Hi SP

    In general, you are correct. In most scientific/medical contexts the abstract term "pain" would be preferred. You may come across "shooting pains" and "growing pains", but as you suggest these uses verge on the colloquial.

    p.s. I am not a doctor.
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