When you’re hurt, you feel painful. Sometimes you feel the pain immediately, sometimes it hurts bit by bit and the pain lasts longer.

In the case of a stubbed toe, the signals move rapidly up insulated nerve fibers to the brain’s thalamus, which acts as a relay station and directs them to the sensory cortex. The signals are then interpreted by the brain as a sharp pain. The slower impulses, traveling through the web-like neural fibers, become a throbbing ache felt through the entire toe, a warning to treat the area gingerly while it heals.

Temporary or acute pain, caused by minor ailments like a sprain or a burn, usually resolves itself after the affected region heals. When an acute situation goes unresolved or causes a malfunction in the nervous system, however, the pain cycle becomes self-perpetuating. In these cases, diagnosis and treatment can be challenging because the pain signals may reverberate throughout the nervous system, disguising the original source.

- How the Brain Interprets Pain and How to Get Relief, US News Health

If you want to find out more about how our brain responds to pain and what we can do to relieve pain, read more in How the Brain Interprets Pain and How to Get Relief.

How The Brain Reacts To Pain | Graphs.net

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