Categories
Body icon
Body
We celebrate all shapes and sizes because we see nothing but beauty.
View Topic
Life icon
Life
GR8NESS isn’t something you do; it’s how you live.
View Topic
Mind icon
Mind
Infuse mindfulness and awareness into everything you do.
View Topic
Self Care icon
Self Care
Refresh, renew, and reconnect with your inner self to nurture your wellbeing.
View Topic
Soul icon
Soul
Connect with all of humanity and discover your true self.
View Topic
Body
We celebrate all shapes and sizes because we see nothing but beauty.
View More
Categories
A life in motion is a life well lived. Move. Discover. Grow.
View Topic
True health lies in finding the perfect balance of mind, body, and spirit.
View Topic
Chronic pain can be debilitating. Regain control of your body and mind.
View Topic
Remedies sourced from nature help heal pains, both seen and unseen.
View Topic
Feed your body properly and you’ll nurture more than just the physical.
View Topic
Life
GR8NESS isn’t something you do; it’s how you live.
View More
Categories
Ease the way you move through life with simplicity and intelligence.
View Topic
Strengthening your relationships helps you celebrate who you’ve become.
View Topic
Raising children is the job of a lifetime. And you never get to retire.
View Topic
Our planet is a marvelous gift. Become the change the world needs by helping it heal.
View Topic
They’re an extended part of your family. Care for them the way they deserve.
View Topic
Mind
Infuse mindfulness and awareness into everything you do.
View More
Categories
While you cannot escape the stresses of life, you can find shelter inside yourself.
View Topic
Calming anxiety, easing depression, and discovering peace of mind are within your grasp.
View Topic
Everyday tools, training, and techniques to convince your brain it can be so much more.
View Topic
From mantras for self-love to changing the way you look at wellness.
View Topic
category alt tag
Self Care
Refresh, renew, and reconnect with your inner self to nurture your wellbeing.
View More
Categories
The journey of self-discovery is never-ending. Embrace your journey.
View Topic
Feeling good about your outside impacts how you feel about your inside. Feel beautiful both ways.
View Topic
Soul
Connect with all of humanity and discover your true self.
View More
Categories
Dive into your practice and experience something new every day. Give your mind some space to grow.
View Topic
Feed your mind with powerful positive statements to help you believe in yourself.
View Topic
In a fast-paced world, sometimes the best thing you can do is to breathe.
View Topic
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
man holding arm from pain
270 Views
3 Min Read Time
0 Shares

The Mechanics of Pain

GR8NESS RATING
2
gr8 vote
GR8
0
meh vote
MEH
0
pass vote
PASS

The human organism is a complex structure of multiple systems, cells and organs that work in unison. A whole series of events has to happen before we feel anything, including pain. How does our brain communicate with the nerves to send signals and make us feel this distressing sensation? Do you really understand how pain works?

How Does Pain Work?

Our body is able to detect and sense danger, such as temperature and pressure changes that could be harmful, with the help of the nervous system. It contains special nerves calle, nociceptors, which become active whenever they sense a potential injury. When the neuron receives a stimulus and fires off, it transfers that signal to the next neuron in line until it reaches the central nervous system.

The Brain

From the central system, our brain evaluates the information (signal) it received. Only then do we feel the sensation. Pain is actually the result of our brain’s assessment of the situation, combined with other factors such as previous exposure, social beliefs, and expectations. Different neural pathways are activated for normal perception compared to the painful one. With non-damaging stimuli, such as a light touch or pressure, somatic receptors are activated beforehand. With a painful stimulant, nociceptors fire off first.

The Progression of Pain

Any type of injury is usually characterized by an intense, sharp pain in the exact moment when it occurs. Once it somewhat subsides, we’re met with a duller, longer-lasting and somewhat annoying ache. This is due to different types of nociceptors that differ in how fast they transfer stimuli.

Fiber Axons

They are known as A and C fiber axons. A fiber axons are surrounded with myelin, a protective, fatty substance that increases the speed at which signal travels from one nerve cell to another. These A axons transfer the information which results in the initial, sharp pain. On the contrary, C fiber axons are not sheathed with myelin, therefore transferring the signals slower and causing pain even after the object that caused the stimuli is removed.

Different Types of Pain

Separate neural circuits are responsible for acute (short-term) pain, and chronic (long-lasting) one. Acute pain is useful as it keeps us away from danger. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to realize how damaging breaking a bone or cutting our finger is. This type is easy to treat, and usually goes away on its own shortly after removing the source of injury. However, in worst cases it can last for up to 6 months. Chronic pain persists even after the initial cause is removed. It’s usually considered as a disease state. In some severe cases, the underlying cause might be of psychological origin. Chronic pain can be a result of dysregulation of glial (non-neural cells) functions in both central and peripheral nervous system. Those suffering from this type are regularly medicated for pain management.

Knowing how pain works plays an important role in our everyday lives. It’s a vital process that keeps us away from dangerous situations, but even our nerve cells can be wrong sometimes. This just shows that even our body, a complex concoction of elements, isn’t perfect after all.

GR8NESS RATING
2
gr8 vote
GR8
0
meh vote
MEH
0
pass vote
PASS
Stephany
GR8NESS Writer
Stephany is a GR8NESS Contributing Editor who writes about pet care, CBD, stress, self care, meditation, time management, brain training, and natural remedies with a focus on the science behind it all. She has three dogs, three cats, walks half marathons, and practices yoga and powerlifting. You can often find her training her dogs or experimenting with new flavors in the kitchen.
Learn More
Related Articles
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Image by Carolina Heza / Unsplash

Migraines vs. Headaches: Can You Spot the Difference? [Quiz]

Not all headaches are the same. Sometimes things like fluorescent lights can make your head hurt. Or, sometimes headaches are a secondary symptom of stress. One thing that everyone can agree on is that headaches are the worst. They interrupt your day, can make it difficult to concentrate, and they...
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Image by Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

Understanding the Pain Scale, Opioids, and Natural Alternatives

Research states that traditional pain management may worsen symptoms, and opioids are a staple in the treatment of chronic pain. In recent years doctors have increasingly prescribed them for acute injuries, such as bone fractures and outpatient surgeries such as the removal of wisdom teeth. As the opioid epidemic is...
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Image by Pixabay / Pexels

Are Pain Relievers Bad for Blood Pressure? [Poll]

When you have a headache or a sore back, it's natural to reach for the closest bottle of over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever you have handy. You may have done your research to learn the difference between acetaminophen and ibuprofen and know which one to go for based on your type of...
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed

The Ultimate Diet Changes to Manage Chronic Pain

For those who struggle with chronic pain, it can be debilitating. After many trips to the doctor, prescription and over-the-counter medications, and alternative treatment methods, individuals are often left looking for more. Making changes to your diet may be able to help. [media number="1"] Natural Remedies for Pain Management Natural...
The URL has been copied