The Science of Pain

The science of pain and analgesics

Understanding pain starts with understanding its relationship with the brain.

Pain stems from the brain. Scientists now know that pain doesn’t originate from bodily tissues, as we once thought. It only exists if the brain interprets signals from the body as “painful.”

Everyone experiences pain differently. Some people will feel more pain than others during a similar experience.

External factors can influence pain. Psychological factors (such as anxiety or depression) and social circumstances (like stress at work) can worsen the perception of pain.

Education can help. Studies show that understanding pain generators associated with a condition can dramatically help.

How the Brain Perceives Pain

The perception of pain is regulated by different types of nerve cells, or neurons. These nerves carry information from special receptors in the skin to spinal cord, where the signals are sent to the brain. The brain perceives these signals as pain sensations and reacts accordingly.

For example, let’s look at the process of pain transmission from minor foot pain:

  1. A pain sensation is picked up by a nerve fiber. Different nerve fibers pick up different sensations from skin receptors.
  2. The nerve fiber carries the signal to the spinal cord, stimulating another neuron to continue the transmission.
  3. The signal is carried up the spinal cord to the brain, where the brain receives and processes the signal.
  4. The brain interprets the signal as pain, and you feel pain in your foot.


Understanding Muscle and Joint Pain

  • As we know, muscle and joint pain can come in many different forms:
  • A strong, sharp pain is often a signal to stop what you’re doing immediately, like with a pulled muscle or twisted ankle
  • Short-term soreness from strenuous activity, like an aching back or a tender muscle after strenuous exercise.
  • More persistent, like the chronic pain of arthritis.

For minor aches and pains of muscles and joints, topical analgesics paired with professional healthcare can provide long-lasting relief.

How Analgesics Work

Whether it’s an overworked muscle, a chronically achy back or the discomfort of arthritis, pain affects millions of Americans every day. Biofreeze is a topical analgesic that uses the cooling effect of menthol, a natural pain reliever, to soothe minor muscle and joint pain. It penetrates quickly, offering relief through cold therapy. For this reason, it’s especially effective for use in conjunction with hands-on healthcare such as chiropractic, massage and physical therapies, and podiatry.

Biofreeze invests in scientific research in order to best understand how to help people relieve pain. The science behind Biofreeze is a dual approach to pain relief, based on the following theories.

Stimulation of Cold Receptors

When Biofreeze is applied, menthol binds with temperature-sensitive receptors in the skin. Activating these receptors is thought to modulate pain signals through the body’s natural pain relieving systems. This mechanism works similarly to ice, but with additional benefits.

Biofreeze Active ingredients: Menthol USP 5%
Inactive ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Arctium Lappa Root (Burdock) Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Blue 1, Boswellia Carterii Resin Extract, Calendula Officinalis Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Carbomer, Glycerin, Ilex Paraguariensis Leaf Extract, Isopropyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Myristate, Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm) Leaf Extract, Silica, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethanolamine, Water, Yellow 5
Uses: Temporary relief from minor aches and pains of sore muscles & joints associated with: arthritis, backache, strains and sprains


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