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What Causes Pain?


Receptor nerve cells in and beneath our skin sense heat, cold, light, touch, pressure and pain. Our bodies contain thousands of these receptor cells.

When our bodies are injured, or are not functioning properly, these tiny cells can send messages along nerves into our spinal cord and then up to the brain. The sensation is translated as pain.

Pain medicine and other treatments can block these messages or reduce their effect on the brain.

Chronic pain can be due to:

  • Medical conditions such as cancer, arthritis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, migraine headaches, herniated discs, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, neuropathy, sickle cell disease, neuralgia, and many others.
  • A tumor causing pressure on organs, nerves, or bone.
  • Poor blood circulation.
  • Blockage of an organ in the body.
  • An injury.
  • Infection or inflammation.
  • Side effects from some medical treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
  • Stiffness from inactivity.
  • Overuse of a body part. 
  • Psychological responses to illness such as tension, depression, or anxiety.

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