The problem of perception of pain is one of the most complex and acute problems of medicine. Pain is commonly believed to be a feeling of physical discomfort or suffering that a human understands and acknowledges. This sensation is triggered by irritations, which can be both external and internal. While experiencing pain is often unpleasant, a body needs it in order to get away from anything that hurts; it is an essential survival mechanism. However, one of the most interesting facts about pain is that its perception is subjective. For example, different people have various pain thresholds and endurance levels. In other words, while a trigger can impose the same sensation of pain onto different people, they can perceive it in diverse ways. This factor suggests that it might be possible to change how one detects and recognizes pain.
There are many theories regarding this matter, including the gate control theory. It states that sensations can be reduced by activating a non-painful feeling. As an example, after hitting a toe, rubbing or gently blowing on it can slightly reduce pain. This phenomenon is explained by the fact that if the pain impulse is strong enough, it blocks inhibitory neurons and travels to the brain. However, these neurons are activated when they receive other types of impulses from touch, pressure, and vibration.
Another interesting fact about pain is that, while it is a universal experience, it can be influenced by social and cultural aspects as well. For example, Caucasians and Africans differently perceive cutaneous pain; the second group usually interprets it as the most intense. In addition, religious beliefs can also play a significant role in this matter as some of the devoted people may rely on God to give them the strength to endure pain. In conclusion, it would appear that, even though experiencing pain is common among humans, it is rather a diverse phenomenon.