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Why Do We Feel Pain?

Author: Branden Chen

Editors: Vincent Chang and Liane Xu

Artist: Aurora Chen

Ouch! Touching a hot stove does not feel pleasant. Our body perceives the burning shock as pain. We all feel pain, whether it’s physical or emotional, but imagine a world where we do not feel pain at all—no more feeling pain when you burn your hand or get a paper cut or stub your toes. As amazing as this sounds, pain keeps us alive and prevents us from experiencing further physical damage. So, how and why do we feel pain? The answers to this question lie in the control center of our bodies: the nervous system.

Say you prick your finger on something sharp, like a thumbtack or a pin. The sharp object causes tissue damage, which is detected by microscopic pain receptors, known as nociceptors,