• Question: Is pain really just in your brain?

    Asked by SuperSnK/SandwichesArEyUm to Kellie on 25 Apr 2016.
    • Photo: Kellie Jaremko

      Kellie Jaremko answered on 25 Apr 2016:

      That’s a great question but also a complicated one. The answer is both yes and no. The final stop in the pain pathway is the brain but it physically starts at the body part that is damaged. Emotions and memories stored in your brain also change how you respond to pain but its “not all in someone’s head”

      Pain is the way a living thing can tell if it is in danger of physical harm.
      This is important to stay alive.

      For example:If you stepped on something sharp that damages the skin on your foot other cells in your foot called nerves will become active. The possible damage to your foot is changed into chemical and electrical signals that can travel to other parts of your body like your brain and spinal cord. Reflexes along this path will cause you to move your foot away from the source of the pain. Once these signals reach your brain, which happens very fast, you may say “Oww.” Your brain will remember this happened and you will probably watch where you step in the future.