Why does pain matter? Understanding pain biology changes the way people think about pain, reduces its threat value and improves their management of it.
The brain will give you perception of what is happening. The alarm system–or the pain signal–will tell your brain WHERE the danger is in your body, the AMOUNT of danger, and the NATURE of the danger (meaning what type of pain: sharp, burning, aching, tingling etc…). This alarm system is stored within the safety of the skull, which is comprised of the strongest bones in the body.
Nociception is a sensory nerve’s response to a harmful or painful stimulus. Sensory receptors will respond to mechanical stimuli, temperature, and chemical stimuli. They then send a signal to the spinal cord which eventually sends the signal to multiple different areas of the brain. Shown in this video are the numerous areas of the brain affected by pain. It’s no wonder why someone with chronic pain is HYPERSENSITIVE to all sorts of stimuli such as noise, light, and temperature changes. Pain has also been shown to reduce concentration, affect problem solving, alter memory, induce fear, increase stress, and disturb spatial cognition.
-Our brain contains about 100 billion neurons, each of which can make thousands of connections.
-Neurons are to keen to make connections. A single neuron placed in a saltwater bath will wriggle up to 30% of it length in search of another neuron.
-As you are reading this you will have millions of synapses link and unlink every second.
-The life of a sensory neuron is short. They only live for a few days then get replaced by fresh sensors.
NOTE: understanding the process behind the experience of pain can provide you with major control of your pain!