Can the Brain Itself Feel Pain?

Can the Brain Itself Feel Pain?

Does the brain itself have pain receptors?


There are no pain receptors in the brain itself. But he meninges (coverings around the brain), periosteum (coverings on the bones), and the scalp all have pain receptors. Surgery can be done on the brain and technically the brain does not feel that pain.

With that said, the brain is the tool we use to detect pain. Let’s say you’re on the beach and you step on a sharp shell. Special pain receptors in your skin activate whenever there has been an injury, or even a potential injury, such as breaking the skin or causing a large indentation. Now, an impulse is heading through the nerve into the spinal cord, and eventually all the way to your brain. This happens within fractions of a second.

Your spinal cord is a complex array of nerves, transmitting all kinds of signals to and from the brain at any given time. The spinal cord is also in charge of your reflexes. The brain does not have to tell your foot to move away from the shell, because the spinal cord has already sent that message. The pain signal continues to the brain. This is because pain involves more than a simple stimulus and response. Your brain needs to make sense of what has happened. Pain gets catalogued in your brain’s library, and emotions become associated with stepping on that shell. When the pain signal reaches the brain it goes to the thalamus, which directs it to a few different areas for interpretations. Some areas in the cortex figure out where the pain came from and compare it to other kinds of pain with which is it familiar. Was it sharp? Did it hurt more than stepping on a tack? Have you ever stepped on a shell before, and if so was more or less painful?

Signals are also sent from the thalamus to the limbic system, which is the emotional center of the brain. Feelings are associated with every sensation you encounter, and each feeling generates a response. For example, your heart rate may increase, and you may break out into a sweat.

Posted on BrainLine July 12, 2012. Reviewed July 26, 2018.

Comments (33)

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Had head concussion 3 yrs ago why am in pain 31 days a month mostly severe pain so why's it not going away?

Head concussions can last months and result in symptoms such as dizziness or headache. Post-concussion syndrome can go away with time, but repetitive brain injuries can result in a dangerous progressive brain disease called CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). In general, symptoms of a concussion should resolve in two weeks. Some people have symptoms for longer — up to three months. Concussive symptoms typically resolve in seven to 10 days. ( I know I'm a little late but I hope this helps) (ᴗᵔᴥᵔ)

Sometimes I wake up and I'm unable to move my head because it feels like I've got tremendous cramp like pain in my brain. What is this if it's not cramp in my brain please

Then please explain my migraine

A migraine is a headache that can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head. It's often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. A migraine headache is caused by abnormal brain activity. This activity can be triggered by many things. But the exact chain of events remains unclear. Most medical experts believe the attack begins in the brain and involves nerve pathways and chemicals.
One aspect of migraine pain theory explains that migraine pain happens due to waves of activity by groups of excitable brain cells. These trigger chemicals, such as serotonin, to narrow blood vessels. Serotonin is a chemical necessary for communication between nerve cells.

We have nerves all around are brain and when one has a headache the brain becomes swollen and those nerves are being pushed up against the bone of your scull at that is what causes nerve or headache pain.

Can you feel if a doctor touches your brain with gloves or tools a doctor?

When I had brain surgery it was done while awake but there is no pain and the reason for the need to be awake and responsive is so the patient can respond back to the surgeon if something is wrong or knot. While I was having surgery I could feel pressure from the point of contact and respond back to questions but you can not feel any pain at all.

I was in a wreckand got a concussion 20 months ago. Imagine the sensation of being in agony, but not in pain. Sometimes feeling your stomach rolls like (I hear) it does when you get kicked in the groin, but no recognizable pain. Imagine having that easy to irritate sense that you get when you slam your hand in a car door, but not that blasting feeling of pain to go with it. Nothing that seems to need held or iced or massaged or heated. Nothing screaming that "right here!!!!!" is the source of your suffering. I had that for months and even now get it if I push too hard. Is that because the brain doesn't have pain receptors?

Yes!! I have exactly that same experience and came here looking for am answer to the exact same question! I wish I could talk to you!

If a person were to feel an ache "in the brain", and the feeling was perceived to be in the right hemisphere, what is actually causing this feeling? Would it be the meninges and not the brain itself?

Also, would the left hemisphere actually be responsible for processing this feeling?

Does the brain feel pain? This is a philosophical question related directly to “If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around, does it make a sound?”

The answer is “no”, it does not make a sound. Sound is a psychological experience resulting from a nervous system being stimulated by a physical event. Similarly, pain is also a psychological experience caused by the activation of a set of neural responses.

Usually, pain is created by the activation of pain receptors, like vision is activated by light stimulating photoreceptors. Pain can also be generated by overstimulating other sensory receptors...and by stimulating certain parts of the brain itself...although, as far as we know now (Scientific knowledge is always tentative), brain tissue does not have any specialized pain receptors.

So, when your hand hurts, it is not your hand, per se, that is hurting. The pain is the result of the brain’s response to the signals generated by the hand...and that response includes the psychological experience that we call pain. Therefore, the brain is the only organ that “feels” pain. After all, a person can experience pain from an amputated limb...and a deafferentated limb feels nothing (as far as we can tell!).

The brain itself does not feel pain as it's comprised of neurons and glial cells. There are no nociceptors. These are sensory neurons that specialize in feeling pain and (more generally) touch as it relates to the pressure being exerted by the stimulus. For example, pushing your finger into your own skin doesn't hurt but pressing your nail hard down does. What we feel as a headache is actually the blood vessels, meninges, muscles around your head and jaw, and skull register a pain response. These tissues do have nociceptors. The triggering of such is usually brought on by swelling or inflammation such as a concussion or TBI. As you can see it's not a matter of philosophy, but rather medicine and science.

Your analogy is a bit flawed. Sound is a pressure wave carried by matter. The question of whether or not a falling tree with no witness makes a sound should be followed by the question of whether there is an atmosphere to carry the sound. The matter in the atmosphere will react, even if you are not there to hear it.

This is philosophical/semantic, but sound is not simply a pressure wave carried by matter. "Sound" is the result of the reception of such a wave by organisms capable of processing the wave. The wave will still be there, but with nothing to detect and process it into a sound, it seems we have a soundless wave on our hands. Unless the other trees can "hear", or have their own means of processing the pressure wave (upon which they collectively agree is a sound). I think.

I have been diagnosed with a condition called SUNCT. I am taking Gabapentin that has stopped the pain om the side of my head and deep behind my eye. I am finding it difficult to get information on my condition but I have been told it's to do with the nerve endings in my brain?

If their are no pain receptors in the brain then what are headaches?

My Brain feel pain when i feel sleep at night but i have migirine i dont why but how can i recovery from this pain?

Yes. My eldest son had a brain injury from an auto accident many years ago. The Doctor, at the time, told me the brain doesn't feel pain. It is just something that has always bothered me because I have had severe migraines for years.

yes, you heard that right that brain itself doesn't feel pain and thats because there are no nociceptor located in brain tissue itself.nociceptors are the sensory nerve fibre which are responsible for transmitting signals to the spinal cord and brain about the damage to the body and the brains response in form of pain.Though your brain does not have nociceptors, there are nociceptors in layer of tissue known as dura and pia that serve as a protective shield between the brain and the skull.In some situation, chemical released from the blood vessel near the dura and pia can activate nociceptors, resulting in headaches, such as migraines.

where i can find this "the brain has no pain receptors"?
I want references name.

The inability of the brain to feel pain needs to be investigated in relation to people who suffer incessant, cranial, linguistic noise & chatter from their brains. Not feeling any pain from this painful noise, the brain permits it to go on, incessantly. Wrongly classified as"mental illness," this phenomenon needs to be investigated as the neuro-linguistic problem that it is.

Is the brain the only organ in the body that feels no pain?

I have had brain stem surgery twice and the site of the surgery and the surgery itself was pain free both times. It amazes lot of people that brain surgery doesn't hurt!

Do they know 100% certain that all brains have no pain receptors? Because I know surgery on a living brain is not all too common and will only be done in extraneous circumstances.

if ours brains can't feel pain then what about concussions.

The concern with a concussion is that the tissue would be damaged, not that it would painful. This can be problematic if one says he is not in pain, he should get to play. There is still a risk of tissue damage that we would have to test for, or symptoms that might manifest themselves with time. Think about throwing a peach on the ground. Is the peach hurting? (No) Can we mend the peach in some capacity? (We try)

Also recall that the brain is support by many tissue types. Muscles will be sore or in pain headaches aren’t uncommon. Your brain might get away without having to feel it, but his whole crew has taken hits

That is correct, brain does not carry pain receptors, however, it provides strong perception of pain for analysis and logical action toward hazardous impact of the physical environment. Pain per se is a messaging toll which saves our living system from destructive physical, and chemical world. In trauma of the head irritation of the sympathetic nerves in the periphery initiates production of pain toxins by vasoconstriction of the arteries. Hypoxemia is the signal for those inflammatory toxins. bringing balance to sympathetic and parasympathetic signals is the key in treatment of the most type of the headaches including migraine, and cluster headaches.

When we're doing a difficult lesson, my teacher asks us "Does your brain hurt yet?" So I wanted to see if the brain really can feel pain

I came here for the exact same reason.

I new most of it but still got good info

Learnt a lot by this ! Thanks !!

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