ELI5- why is there “good” pain (like rubbing a sore muscle), and “bad” pain? Why do they feel different?


ELI5- why is there “good” pain (like rubbing a sore muscle), and “bad” pain? Why do they feel different?

In: Biology

Bad pain is your body’s way of protecting itself from physical harm. Pain is designed to be bad and unpleasant, so that you will both consciously and subconsciously attempt to move away from this negative stimuli and potential danger to your body.

Pain, of course, happens at varying degrees. The pain from getting stabbed with a knife versus getting poked by a back scratcher is different. The body responds accordingly based on the intensity of the stimuli. Sometimes, you will find a haptic feedback pleasant.

Well all pain is good pain really, it might hurt a lot but from what I understand its sole purpose is to alert you that something is wrong within your body. I can’t comment on why they feel different though but I do get what you mean

Personally I think of pain as the body’s way to signal that you’ve reached your limit, and sometimes pushing your body to the limit is what you want. Eg in dance school you should stretch to the point where it’s uncomfortable/painful otherwise you’re not getting any more flexible, but not beyond that because then you hurt yourself.

Acetylcholine and dopamine are involved and released in “pleasure pain.” (Massages et al.) But I can’t ELI5 it.

Thrre are different and specific types of nerves for all senses. Different nerves for different types of pain as well.

People who enjoy pain also have differences within the brain. IIRC I think they have a bigger corpus collosum but it is fairly late and I could be wrong on the structure.

Your body learns to like certain tastes, smells, sensations or other stimuli if you feel good afterwards. Alcohol might not taste good at the start, but once your brain learns to identify the taste with its effect, it begins to taste good. Cracking knuckles, rubbing sore muscles, kinky sex stuff… all those are pains the body can learn to love quite easily.

PS. I’d use different examples if I was actually explaining this to a 5yo.

We have to ‘feel it to heal it.’ I attended a pain integration workshop a couple weeks ago. I’ve been enjoying playing around with the information. It was a full day of info but here is a bit for ya;-)
Why pain? Something we are doing, being or experiencing is not sustainable and is or will cause damage beyond the body’s ability to adapt. This occurs when our lives need to be disrupted and:or we are resisting change.

Kinds of pain and best response:

Physical = pain of trying to avoid pain or make it go away. Increase awareness of reactions, body, and environment.

Emotional = pain of trying to control our experiences. Be responsible for our stories and beliefs about reality. Stop thinking about why or how and focus on the experience and what needs to change in our life. Practice positive emotions.

Mental = pain of not making enough progress fast enough. Recognize who you are is not what you do, say, or think. Identify what you subconsciously believe about yourself. Take inventory of your roles and what kind of relationship you have with each one. Redefine any role that does not satisfy you.

Spiritual = pain of not knowing or giving your unique gifts to the world. The most intense and disruptive pain. If you are missing your one and only chance the pain is supposed to be excruciating. Set bigger goals that involve more souls and an impact that will outlive you. It’s all about community.

Multiple perspectives: how many things can you be aware of simultaneously? The more perspectives you hold the more parts of your brain are working together. A minimum of 3 different perspectives, held simultaneously, will activate the prefrontal cortex. In order to know what to do with pain the information must be processed in the prefrontal cortex.

Posture experience: hunch into a bad posture. Try and think of a happy experience and try and think of s stressful experience. Which is easier? Now, get into an upright and open posture. Try and think of a happy experience and try and think of a stressful experience. Which is easier?
It is Amazing how immediately we can shift our perception by changing posture. I do this practice of upright and open posture all day!

Without details on uniqueness and singularity in each one of us… There are different ways for the pain to be transmitted to the brain, eg. Pain caused by heat is transmitted to the brain by a different pathway than pain caused by crush. So there are many pathways and different form of pain to be trasnmitted to the brain and consciousness. So depending on wich one is giving the information it can be good or it can be bad.

Once i learnt that when we have a bad toothache, we usually try to suck the air through the teeth. It literally makes it feel more painful but right after you stop, the pain reliefs and it feels “less” painful. Same goes with scratching your itch; itch is kinda like really minor pain so you scratch it to make it more painful so when you get used to the pain of the scratch, the itch is not as painful

In other words, i believe “good pain” is just an illusion of relief that we create

I believe this phenomenon somewhat correlates to self-harming in people suffering depression. They self-harmed themselves to create extreme pain, to a point that their inner mental suffering feels not as painful as the physical pain right now, and that creates relief