Pain is the unpleasant feeling you get in response to touching a hot cookie tray or hitting your finger with a hammer. Pain is a warning of potential damage to your body. We have specialized nerves in the skin that are pain sensing, and are called “nociceptors”. When pain lasts longer than the threat from the environment (the cookie tray or the hammer), it becomes chronic pain. This chronic pain prevents people from doing their normal daily activities. Research is still being done on how and why pain becomes chronic.
Did you know that some people cannot feel pain? There is a small percentage of people in the world that cannot feel pain due to a mutation in their genome. This might seem great at first, but in fact people with congenital insensitivity to pain (CIP) have difficulties in everyday life to ensure that they are not in danger of hurting themselves. Imagine not being able to feel pain in response to touching a hot cookie tray? Then you would have a more severe burn. So our ability to feel pain allows us to protect ourselves.
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