What Causes Pain?

About Pain

Why do we feel pain? This is one of the most commonly asked questions. Generally speaking, pain occurs when the brain detects an injury in the body. Pain’s intensity is related to the severity of the condition.

Fortunately, there are treatment options. Bayer analgesic products help to relieve many types of pain when used as directed, allowing millions of people to resume their daily activities.

How Does Pain Develop?

Pain, our body’s alarm system, is both a tangible and an emotional experience. A person’s pain threshold, each individual’s ability to feel and tolerate pain, varies according to each situation and person. An individual’s psychological state plays a big part in how one experiences pain: for instance, people report that injections hurt less when they did not see the needle coming than when they actually saw it puncture their skin. Furthermore, if we get hurt while practicing an enjoyable sport or activity, we may not feel much pain right then, even in cases of severe injury. You may have heard stories of football players who score touchdowns with a sprained ankle or ballet dancers who finish the show with a damaged knee.

Pain receptors are scattered throughout our bodies. While unpleasant, pain is actually our body’s way of letting us know we need to pay attention. When stimulated, these receptors send signals to the brain that produce what we call “pain.” Pain results from a wide range of stimuli: physical, chemical or thermal. When tissue is sufficiently stimulated, it locally produces substances called prostaglandins, which can produce inflammation. This results in pain, a rise in temperature or swelling of the affected area. By inhibiting prostaglandin production, analgesics can relieve general aches and pains.


Headaches cause pain that people worldwide are all familiar with. As an example, according to the National Headache Foundation, more than 45 million Americans suffer from headaches — a figure higher than the 33 million people who suffer from asthma, diabetes and heart conditions combined.1

Prevention and Treatment

People suffering from headaches may benefit from these helpful tips:

  • Identify what triggers the headache.
  • Minimize your daily stress level.

In any case, remember that if you suspect you have a serious injury or pain that gets worse or lasts for a long time, even if it is mild pain, you should consult a medical doctor.

Muscle Pain

Both genuine athletes and “weekend warriors” may occasionally experience muscle pains. Sport-related strains and trauma trigger inflammatory responses that induce pain. But pain is not only felt by athletes. There are many familiar daily situations that result in muscle pain:

  • Poor posture: sitting incorrectly for hours at the office or lifting heavy objects without the proper stance
  • Repetitive movements: at work, in the garden, while using the computer

Prevention and Treatment

Muscle aches develop primarily in the neck, shoulder and back region. In order to avoid this cycle that produces and sustains muscle pain, here are some preventative tips:

  • When training for physical activity, increase intensity gradually, according to your current abilities.
  • Warm up before exercise for 10 to 15 minutes; try a slow jog or quick walk.
  • Get adequate sleep: good sleep in a quiet and peaceful environment is essential to good health.
  • Exercise equipment and technique should be appropriate for the activity you will perform.

Back Pain

If you feel back (lumbar) pain, you are not alone. Nearly everyone at some point has back pain that may interfere with work, daily activities or recreation. Vertebrae, muscles, nerves and joints are all intricately related throughout our backs. Therefore, when muscles or joints are weak or fatigued — particularly due to a rarely exercised spine or poor posture — pain can occur throughout the back.

Prevention and Treatment

Some tips to help protect your back:

  • When lifting heavy objects that are below knee level, bend your knees to leverage your leg muscles, rather than bending at the waist.
  • Being overweight is related to an increased risk of developing herniated disks (the soft "cushions" between the bones of the spine) and other back problems. When a disk between two bones in the spine presses on the nerves around the backbone, it is called a herniated disk. For your spine’s sake, keep your weight suitable for your body.
  • In order to give your back a good rest at night, the best way to sleep is on your side with your knees bent and a pillow under your head. Some people get good results by placing a pillow or other soft support between their knees.

If you feel severe back pain that was caused by injury or if pain does not ease within a few days, you should consult a medical doctor.

Minor Arthritis Pain

Osteoarthritis or OA (the degeneration of cartilage that connects bone joints) is one of the 10 most disabling diseases in developed countries. It’s estimated that 27 million Americans are affected by OA, which can be very challenging and hamper daily life.

OA Pain

Tips to help prevent worsening of minor OA pain of arthritis:

  • Always use your bigger joints to carry heavy objects: for instance, use your arms, instead of your hands, to lift and move large items.
  • Excess weight may worsen joint damage and makes it more difficult to recover. For your joints’ sake, keep your weight suitable for your body type, height, gender and age.
  • Vary the way you do different tasks, to avoid using the same joints’ all the time.

1Source: National Headache Foundation statistics, http://www.headaches.org/press/NHF_Press_Kits/Press_Kits_-_NHF_Information accessed Dec 22, 2014

Genuine Bayer Aspirin can provide temporary relief from general aches and pains, as well as minor arthritis pain.

Each caplet and tablet is coated with Toleraid® Micro-Coating to make it easier to swallow. Genuine Bayer Aspirin is both caffeine-free and sodium-free.

Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen.

Contains Caffeine.

Bayer Back & Body’s dual-action formula includes aspirin and a pain relief booster to provide fast relief at the site of pain.

Article provided by Bayer

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