Understanding Pain Transmission

Updated at: Jan 30, 2013
Understanding Pain Transmission
Editorial Team
PainWritten by: Editorial TeamPublished at: Jan 30, 2013

Pain can occur after an injury (a fall, a broken bone), in case of an illness (flu, toothache, headache, ear pain), or may be a sign of a serious disorder (such as appendicitis). The nerve cells at the site of the damage, infection or injury sense pain and send a signal to the brain, which perceives it and elicits a response.


The body structure in pain transmission

The body structures involved in pain transmission includes

  • Nerve endings: These are present in every part of the body, beneath the skin and internally in the body's organs. They sense the painful stimuli and transmit it to the brain.
  • Nerve fibers: Nerve fibers serve as a connection between the nerve endings, the spinal cord and the brain. These fibers carry the nerve impulses from the nerve endings to the brain.
  • The brain: Brain senses the stimuli as pain and reacts to them.


Transmission of pain


Transmission of the pain message from the nerve endings to the brain is regulated by substances called mediators and hormones. The mediators sensitize the receptors to pain, whereas the hormones (prostaglandins) trigger or increase the painful sensation. They cause inflammation and fever as well.




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