(ELI5) Does distance from the brain impact how much pain is felt?


Curious if pain in your hand is more intense or less intense than a pain on your foot because of the distance the signal must travel.

In: 0

Intensity have nothing to do with distance traveled, especially that those are signals that travel a minimal distance i would say more about the time that the reaction occur than the intensity of it.

I am not a professional in this so please educate me if a am wrong

It doesn’t.

As we grow the length of some nerves become too long to transmit fast enough. On longer nerves, a fatty substance called myelin wraps your nerves to act as a signal booster. This increases the speed at which your nerves transmit a signal, but not the intensity of a signal being transmitted.

In a healthier toddler 2+, this process is complete. The intensity of pain is representative of how many nerves are involved, not distance from your brain.

Does a toothpick under your toenail hurt less than one under your fingernail?