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#1
Old 03-14-2015, 10:13 PM
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What parts of the human body do not feel pain

I guess it depends on how you define parts. I don't consider products the body makes in this question but which are not attached to the body (saliva, urine, feces), it has to be things physically attached to the body.

Parts of the fingernails
Hair
tooth enamel and dentin (I think only the pulp feels pain)
brain

Anything else?
#2
Old 03-14-2015, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Parts of the fingernails
Hair
tooth enamel and dentin (I think only the pulp feels pain)
brain
(My emphasis)

Never had a toothache, huh?

I think there's a lot of inner stuff that doesn't feel much. Liver, spleen, muscle tissue - you name it. Of course, if you try poking around, you may accidentally hit on a nerve...
#3
Old 03-14-2015, 10:56 PM
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As I understand it, the brain has no pain receptors. But I may be wrong.
#4
Old 03-14-2015, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by bizzwire View Post
As I understand it, the brain has no pain receptors. But I may be wrong.
OP mentioned the brain, and I believe he is right.
#5
Old 03-14-2015, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ignotus View Post
OP mentioned the brain, and I believe he is right.
Wow...I better lay off the NyQuil.

Carry on.
#6
Old 03-14-2015, 11:34 PM
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Wow, that's hard to imagine that the brain would not feel pain. Interesting.


If a 6-inch steel nail suddenly appeared inside my brain, I imagine I'd be rolling on the floor in agony. Of course, I might be dead, but it's still hard to fathom.
#7
Old 03-15-2015, 12:22 AM
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The walls of blood vessels are exquisitely sensitive to pain, in particular if those walls are stretched. There are blood vessels running through your head and brain. When they stretch, you can get gruesome headaches. Some people seem predisposed to have this happen a lot. That is what migraine headaches are.
#8
Old 03-15-2015, 12:27 AM
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I have often seen it claimed that the internal parts of the body have no pain receptors; you only feel pain at or near the surface. This is obviously bollocks.

Heart attacks (especially of the "Hollywood style") are said to be exquisitely high on the pain meter. You can look up threads right on this board about kidney stones. Ever had gastritis or "heartburn" (esophageal acid reflux) or a tummy-ache or a wide-awake colonoscopy? Ever had a bone broken?

Our OP Wesley Clark asks a very reasonable question, and he seems to have a clue that the correct answer is: Very few.
#9
Old 03-15-2015, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Wow, that's hard to imagine that the brain would not feel pain. Interesting.
When undergoing brain surgery, patients are usually only given topical anesthesia in the area of the incision. The patient is kept conscious and sometimes needs to give feedback to the surgeon on what kind of things they're experiencing.


Quote:
If a 6-inch steel nail suddenly appeared inside my brain, I imagine I'd be rolling on the floor in agony. Of course, I might be dead, but it's still hard to fathom.
There've been a number of people who've caught a nail from a nail gun in the brain. Some weren't even aware of it at the time. It's not that it's not serious, just that they can't feel it.
#10
Old 03-15-2015, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
IGNOTUS
I think there's a lot of inner stuff that doesn't feel much. Liver, spleen, muscle tissue - you name it. Of course, if you try poking around, you may accidentally hit on a nerve...
Liver inflammation and an enlarged spleen can certainly cause pain, sometimes severe. Oviously there are a number of causes of muscle pain.

Last edited by rsa; 03-15-2015 at 12:41 AM. Reason: Screwed up quote
#11
Old 03-15-2015, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
There've been a number of people who've caught a nail from a nail gun in the brain. Some weren't even aware of it at the time. It's not that it's not serious, just that they can't feel it.

But what about the punctured skin and membrane and skull bone that the nail passed through en route to the brain? Those parts would be hurting...?
#12
Old 03-15-2015, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by rsa View Post
Liver inflammation and an enlarged spleen can certainly cause pain, sometimes severe. Oviously there are a number of causes of muscle pain.
See Senegoid's explanation above (pressure in diluted blood vessels). I have (thank God!) never had a liver biopsy; but I'm told they only use a local anaestetic on the skin and then stick the needle right into your liver - without any significant pain.

I believe what the OP was asking is more like: Which parts of your body could you prick with a needle without feeling a thing?; rather than: which parts of your body can, if worse comes to worst, hurt like hell?
#13
Old 03-15-2015, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
But what about the punctured skin and membrane and skull bone that the nail passed through en route to the brain? Those parts would be hurting...?
They probably think the nail just grazed their head. That would cause a wound similar to penetration.
#14
Old 03-15-2015, 12:19 PM
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Pinch the skin on your elbow. No pain!
#15
Old 03-15-2015, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Oglomott View Post
Pinch the skin on your elbow. No pain!
\
That doesn't mean that part of the body feels no pain, just that a pinch is not forceful enough to cause pain. Try using a pair of pliers (or dig your nails in).
#16
Old 03-15-2015, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Oglomott View Post
Pinch the skin on your elbow. No pain!
No, but dig your fingernails into it and see what happens.
#17
Old 03-15-2015, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
I guess it depends on how you define parts. I don't consider products the body makes in this question but which are not attached to the body (saliva, urine, feces), it has to be things physically attached to the body.

Parts of the fingernails
Hair
tooth enamel and dentin (I think only the pulp feels pain)
brain

Anything else?
Up to a point on the dentin, there are tiny tubules that extend from the pulp space into the dentin. There are nerve fibers in these tubules. I assure you that considering this dentin feels pain.
#18
Old 03-15-2015, 06:31 PM
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I read on Wikipedia the other day that bone doesn't have pain receptors. However, the material covering it does, hence breaking bones is very painful.

When I had to inject anticoagulant into my legs sometimes this was rather painful and sometimes not at all. The former seemed to be correlated with bleeding. (Which is all kinds of fun when you're on bloodthinners.) Eventually I learned to probe for non-painful sites.

And the tongue is certainly not on this list... I'm looking forward to being able to eat and brush my teeth without having to take painkillers first.
#19
Old 03-15-2015, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by iljitsch View Post
I read on Wikipedia the other day that bone doesn't have pain receptors. However, the material covering it does, hence breaking bones is very painful.
Was it the following?:

Quote:
Although bone tissue itself contains no nociceptors, bone fracture is painful for several reasons:[2]

Breaking in the continuity of the periosteum, with or without similar discontinuity in endosteum, as both contain multiple nociceptors.
Edema of nearby soft tissues caused by bleeding of torn periosteal blood vessels evokes pressure pain.
Muscle spasms trying to hold bone fragments in place

Damage to adjacent structures such as nerves or vessels, spinal cord and nerve roots (for spine fractures), or cranial contents (for skull fractures) can cause other specific signs and symptoms.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bone_fracture

The reference ([2]) used is no longer available:

Quote:
We're sorry, the page you're looking for can't be found.
I found the following which states nociceptors also exist deep within the bone:


Quote:
Secondly, nociceptors have been found to project not only to the periosteum, but also deeply into the bone and bone marrow and are therefore in close proximity to both tumor cells and tumor-associated immune cells and stromal cells.
http://hindawi.com/journals/jos/2012/758181/
#20
Old 03-15-2015, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
There've been a number of people who've caught a nail from a nail gun in the brain. Some weren't even aware of it at the time. It's not that it's not serious, just that they can't feel it.
For an extreme case of "pointy object in brain", I refer you to the case of Phineas Gage. If you have more than a passing interest in this sort of thing, I recommend reading An Odd Kind of Fame: Stories of Phineas Gage.
#21
Old 03-15-2015, 10:52 PM
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your hair ! Think what it would be like getting a hair cut if our hair felt pain !
#22
Old 03-15-2015, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by purplehearingaid View Post
your hair ! Think what it would be like getting a hair cut if our hair felt pain !
As mentioned in the OP.
#23
Old 03-16-2015, 03:09 PM
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If you think about it, it makes sense that the brain itself cannot feel pain. Considering that all nerves lead to and are essentially 'felt' within the brain as an organ, how could it have pain receptors? That's have to loop back infinitely!
#24
Old 03-16-2015, 03:25 PM
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According to more than one gynecologist I've had, there are no nerve endings on the cervix. To which I say a hearty bull shit.
#25
Old 03-16-2015, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
When undergoing brain surgery, patients are usually only given topical anesthesia in the area of the incision. The patient is kept conscious and sometimes needs to give feedback to the surgeon on what kind of things they're experiencing.
...
Hey, it worked for Spock.
#26
Old 03-16-2015, 03:50 PM
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I've been told that cartilage doesn't feel pain. But when the cartilage in your knees wears away, the area around it become inflamed and you feel pain in the nearby muscles and possibly other tissues as the area swells.

I can testify that my gallstones didn't cause pain where they were poking my gallbladder. It caused referred pain, mostly in my back. When the doctor said "does it hurt when I press . . . ", I found out that it was also referring to other places. He never did finish that sentence. I think the fact that I tried to crawl up his arm to the ceiling answered the question.
#27
Old 03-16-2015, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by WOOKINPANUB View Post
According to more than one gynecologist I've had, there are no nerve endings on the cervix. To which I say a hearty bull shit.
I second that. Those guys (and I'm sure they're guys) have obviously never had a pap test OR a cervical biopsy. Or a uterine biopsy that required dilating the cervix.
#28
Old 03-16-2015, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by WOOKINPANUB View Post
According to more than one gynecologist I've had, there are no nerve endings on the cervix. To which I say a hearty bull shit.
How would you know enough to say "bullshit"? The viscera surrounding the cervix have pain receptors. If the cervix itself has no pain receptors, you wouldn't know the difference.
#29
Old 03-16-2015, 05:14 PM
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Certainly not my heavily bandaged thumb, my right thumb, which foolishly thought it could outrun a razor blade.
#30
Old 03-16-2015, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ignotus View Post
OP mentioned the brain, and I believe he is right.
I know the brain doesn't feel pain, but why is severe headaches a sign of a brain aneurysm, and headaches also a symptom of a brain tumor? What's the tumor or aneurysm putting pressure on if not the brain itself? The dura?
#31
Old 03-17-2015, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Ignotus View Post
I have (thank God!) never had a liver biopsy; but I'm told they only use a local anaestetic on the skin and then stick the needle right into your liver - without any significant pain.
This is indeed true. The most painful part of the whole procedure is lying on your side for 6 hours after the biopsy and getting your blood pressure checked every half hour to ensure you have not been bleeding from a hepatic blood vessel.
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