Simple Science

What Is Pain?

PainPhoto by la Caja de la china

Have you ever wished that you don’t feel the pain? If so, you should know that you are really lucky because you can feel the pain. Pain is a protector. When your tooth would not hurt, you wouldn’t know that it’s broken and wouldn’t fix it before it’s too late. If you wouldn’t feel pain when touching something hot you could get hardly burned.

Although it seems strange, science still cannot fully explain what pain is. It is believed that is caused by injuries of free nerve endings in the skin. Because of this very weak stimulus will not cause pain. In other words, your nervous endings in the skin will receive only the “feeling”, but as long as that is small amount of energy, we will not feel that experience as pain. Molecules of a very hot object move with great energy, and therefore, when we touch its surface, we feel the pain.

Far as is known, the body does not have any special term receiver (receptor) for pain, but it seems that there are nerves that lead from places that receive stimuli through the spinal cord to the brain. Spots on the skin that respond to stimuli feeling pain are known as “points of pain“.

They are not evenly distributed over the entire surface of the skin, and in some places there is almost no point of pain, and in total there are about 3 millions of points of pain on human skin!

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