Everyone feels pain but all of us react differently to it. Heroes of Hollywood action movies catch bullets with their chests with just a frown, heroes of horrors yell heartily at the camera at the slightest thing, ordinary people show emotions depending on the pain threshold. In real life, the intensity of sensations depends on the source of pain, on how weak the body is, and on how the nerve receptors work. There are some very interesting facts about the nature of pain that will help you better understand the mechanism of its occurrence.
1. Food Can Cause Pain
This is a scientifically proven fact that some foods can cause headaches. For example, cheese contains tyramine which can affect the tone of the brain vessels and trigger a migraine attack.
2. Pain Is More Easily Tolerated If Its Intensity Is Weaker Than You Expected
This curious fact was discovered by Norwegian scientists. The experiment was conducted with 16 people planted in front of the monitor. They were shown the level of expected heat exposure. Afterward, they were heated by an electrode on the arm to a certain temperature and asked how intense the pain was.
What would be unusual in this study? The fact is that scientists played a trick. The actual temperature of the electrode did not match the data displayed on the screen. It turned out that if a person expected a very strong thermal effect and was given an impulse comparable to the temperature of a hot cup of coffee, then they regarded this pain as insignificant. If the expected temperature was lower than the actual one, then the pain sensations were evaluated by the subjects as strong and unpleasant.
3. The Most Severe Pain in the World
Do you think that there is nothing worse than a blow to the groin or childbirth? Doctors say that a person experiences the strongest pain during a cluster headache. It is so strong that it even causes thoughts of suicide. This disease is quite rare and only one out of a thousand people suffer from it. Cluster pain occurs in series several times a year. Each attack lasts from fifteen minutes to three hours and usually hurts around the eyes.
According to some pain doctors, such pain is worse than giving birth or experiencing burns. The causes of cluster headache are still unknown nor are there any effective treatments.
4. Pain Does Not Exist
A person does not feel pain because there is no such feeling. It is a psychosomatic reaction. What does it mean? As soon as a problem arises, mechanical damage or pain as a result of a disease, the nerve receptors are the first to receive the information. They send it to the brain and it begins to respond to this sensation with what we call pain.
If you compare the work of the nervous system with electronics, pain is a short circuit in the nerve ending. The body “understands” that the system is broken and lets the brain know in order to solve the problem.
5. Thoughts Can Cause Pain
If a person has an unresolved problem or is experiencing very strong emotional stress, they will feel pain. Any body part can become the center of this pain. Sometimes the body responds to emotional stress with the development of a disease. For example, the wife left her man and apparently he reacted normally but after two months he began to experience constant headaches. This is what’s called psychosomatics.