How Pain Works

Let's say that you stub your toe. Nerves in the toe known as nociceptors, tasked with sensing pain, go into action. They send messages to the spinal cord that pain has occurred; the worse the stub, the more rapidly and powerfully they fire. The spinal cord then releases neurotransmitters to the brain's thalamus, communicating with the …

An Introduction of Pain Pathways and Mechanisms

​This article provides an overview of the physiological mechanisms of pain and the important pain pathways. We will discuss pain receptors, transmission of pain signals to the spinal cord and pain pathways within the spinal cord. We will also look at how pain can be modulated at different levels along the pathway. Finally we discuss different types of pain including visceral and neuropathic pain.

The 3 Basic Types of Pain

There are two main classifications of pain: the commonsensical sort that arises from damaged tissue (nociceptive pain), and the more exotic kind that comes from damage to the system that reports and interprets damage, the nervous system (neuropathic pain). This is the difference between engine trouble and trouble with that light on your dashboard that claims there’s engine trouble. Oddly, there is still no official …

Mechanisms of Pain

Persistent or chronic pain is the primary reason people seek medical care, yet current therapies are either inadequate for certain types of pain or cause intolerable side effects. Recently, pain neurobiologists have identified a number of cellular and molecular processes that lead to the initiation and maintenance of pain. Understanding these underlying mechanisms has given significant promise for the development of more effective, more specific pain therapies in the near future.