Question

Dear Dr Smith

I have always been told that there are no pain receptors in your brain.
So what I would like to know is why does in feel like the pain is inside my head when I have a head ache.

From Jarryd Dunn

Answer

We posed this question to Peter McNaughton from the University of Cambridge...

Peter - Why do headaches hurt when it's well-known that brain tissue itself is not sensitive to pain? Well the answer is in the meninges which are the rather tough bag which surrounds the brain. During a headache, which is caused perhaps by a viral infection or perhaps by having too much to drink, the meninges become inflamed. The pounding of the blood through the blood vessels in the meninges causes the headache to hurt. So the short answer is that the reason the headache hurts is because of the meninges which are liberally innervated with pain sensitive nerve fibres rather than the brain hurts. The brain itself has no pain sensitive nerve fibres at all.

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