Pain is an important function of
the nervous system which provides the human body with a warning of potential or
actual injury. This includes both emotional and sensory experiences.
Pain perception is where pain is
recognised and interpreted by the brain. On the other hand, physical injury is
where there is serious damage to someone’s body whether it is the function of
an organ or limb, disfigurement or even at risk of death. The aim of this essay
is to describe the evidence that shows pain perception is not entirely
dependent on physical injury.
There are different types of pain
pathways. There is the spinal reflex pathway where it gathers information about
stimuli and instigates reflex actions. Meanwhile, this route sends signals to
muscles which are relevant which results in the area of risk from being
damaged. For example, when you hit your elbow of something, the information is
transmitted from the nociceptor to the interneuron within the spinal cord.
The next pain pathway is the
pathway to the brain. This happens when the nociceptor synapse with the
transmission cell in the spinal cord which the axon extends up to a region
within the brain called thalamus. From
here another neuron can send the signal to the somatosensory cortex which
information relating to pain can be sent to other regions of the brain for
The last pain pathway is the
pathway from the brain. Activity in the brain is the key for the perception of
pain and there are times when people don’t perceive pain at all. This pathway
begins in the section of the brain called periaqueductal grey which travels
down to stimulate the interneurons in the spinal cord. They then form synapse
with the transmission cells to the spinothalamic pathway.
When it comes to the specific
mechanisms that allow pain perception to be gated, pain signals don’t reach the
brain as soon as they are generated at the injured sites. What they need is to
encounter a number of neurological gates which take part in the spinal cord
level which then decides whether the pain signals should reach the brain or
not. However, this means that pain is
perceived when the gateway provides way for pain signals and is less intense
when gate closes for signal to pass through.
There are many different types of
pain. I feel that pain perception isn’t entirely dependent on physical injury
because when you are in pain it doesn’t necessarily mean you are hurt yet if
you are hurt it doesn’t mean you feel pain. When you feel physical pain, we
make sure we go to the doctors and get it looked at and treated. For example,
if you break your ankle, you get it x-rayed and a cast is put on it to stop it
Meanwhile when you feel emotional
pain, we don’t always ask for help and you defiantly can’t physically see
emotional pain. We can feel emotional pain when it comes to heartache, stress
or when someone close to you dies.
conclude I feel that pain perception is not entirely dependent on physical
injury because there is so much evidence on different types of pain that the
human body can take. Every human being goes through a majority of the different
types of pain.