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What are pain receptors and where are they found?

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

In its simplest form, the body’s pain circuitry can be described as follows: pain stimulates pain receptors, and this stimulus is transferred through specialized nerves in the spinal cord and from there to the brain. The painful stimulus is processed in the brain that sends an impulse to the spinal cord and nerves for the body to react, for example, removing the hand from a very hot object. In this FastlyHealarticle, we will discover which are the pain receptors and where they are so that you better understand how the human body is formed.

Pain receptors: what are they, and what types are there

Pain receptors are accessible nerve endings. There are three types of pain receptor stimuli:

  • Mechanical: a mechanical stimulus would be, for example, high pressure or a stretch
  • Thermal: a thermal pain stimulus would be extreme heat or cold
  • Chemicals: chemical receptors for pain can be stimulated by chemicals from the outside world (acids, for example), although they can also be produced by certain products present in the body that are released from trauma, inflammation, or other painful stimuli—measures: serotonin, potassium ions, and acids.

Compounds called prostaglandins are released with painful stimuli, and although they do not directly stimulate pain receptors, they increase their sensitivity.

Where are the pain receptors

Pain receptors are present in all parts of the body, especially in the skin, joint surfaces, the periosteum (the lining of all bone), the walls of the arteries, and specific structures in the skull. Other organs, such as the intestine and muscles, have fewer pain receptors. It is interesting to note that the brain has no pain receptors, making it insensitive to pain.

As we have said, it is in the skin where pain receptors are most extensively located. This is where the sensory neurons are found, known as ” nociceptors,” and are responsible for sending stimuli to the nervous systems or the brain.

Psychological aspects of pain

We must remember that pain can also be perceived differently for psychological reasons that we must not ignore. It is known that there are people who are more tolerant of pain than others, and psychological and not physiological explanations can only explain this.

This will depend, essentially, on how each one knows how to cope with pain and, also, on the cognitive aspects that each person has. Usually, the most pain-tolerant people have experienced more unfavorable health conditions and, therefore, are “used” to different painful sensations and can relativize more easily.

We also have to consider that pain produces both physical and mental anxiety, and this psychological condition can cause us to feel more pain and, therefore, more stress in the long run. It is the fish that bites its tail. Consequently, it is essential to control the mind and nerves in a situation to heal more quickly. This is one of the reasons why doctors warn that optimism and positivity are vital elements in the cure of any disease, even cancers.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to What are pain receptors and where are they found, we recommend that you enter our Brain and nerves category .

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