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Pain-Management

Updated 17 August 2010

Physiology of pain

Pain stimulates pain receptors, and this stimulus is transferred via specialised nerves to the spinal cord and from there up to the brain.

In its simplest form, the pain circuit in the body can be described as follows: pain stimulates pain receptors, and this stimulus is transferred via specialised nerves to the spinal cord and from there to the brain.

Pain receptors
Pain receptors are present everywhere in the body, especially the skin, surfaces of the joints, periosteum (the specialised lining around the bone), walls of the arteries, and certain structures in the skull. Other organs, such as the gut and muscles, have fewer pain receptors. It is interesting to note that the brain itself does not have any pain receptors at all, and is therefore insensitive to pain.

 

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