watch this
Here are the Most Painful Things That a Human Can Physically Feel

Of course, there’s a level of subjectivity to pain. One person might find listening to Kid Rock to be more painful than stubbing their toe. Another person might enjoy a little bit of pain. And who can say how painful heartbreak feels? But we can still generally identify most of the worst sensations that people don’t ever want to experience. Read More >>

virtual reality
VR Pain Relief: Dentists Using Virtual Worlds To Distract From Real Agony

Dental work is often agony, even with that pain relief they claim to give you - so anything that can reduce it would be welcome. VR, apparently, is the answer, with patients being given one of three scenes to enjoy. Read More >>

medicine
This Brain Scanning Technique Can Measure Your Baby’s Pain

Babies can’t tell us how much pain they’re in, which poses a problem for healthcare practitioners who are trying to manage their care. A new technique that uses non-invasive brain scans overcomes this frustrating limitation by providing what may be the first objective measure of infant pain. Read More >>

insects
Watching a Man Sting Himself With the Most Painful Insect on Earth Will Give You Nightmares

What’s a few minutes of internet fame worth to you? Would you eat something gross? Would you risk your life flying down a mountain in a wingsuit? Or would you go so far as to let a bullet ant — the insect with the most painfully potent venom on Earth — purposely bite you? Read More >>

medicine
The Placebo Effect Works Even When People Know the Pills Are Fake

Deception is necessary for placebo pills to work, or at least that’s the conventional wisdom. A surprising new study on patients with chronic back pain shows that we still experience the placebo effect, even when we know we’re being tricked. Read More >>

robots
Arty Robot Can Decide if Hurting You is a Good Idea or Not

A half-roboticist, half-scientist man has created a robot with feelings of a sort, one that can decide whether or not to hurt a human -- and adjust its responses accordingly. Read More >>

science
Suffering For Science: Why I Have Insects Sting Me To Create A Pain Index

Over the past 40 years (but in reality since I was five years old), I’ve been fascinated with insects and their ability to sting and cause pain. In graduate school, I became interested in why they sting and why stings from such tiny animals hurt so much. Read More >>

science
This is How Your Brain Shifts From Pain to Pleasure

It’s a common phenomenon: a touch that normally feels a bit painful can feel much nicer when you’re sexually aroused. Read More >>

sex
People are Poor Communicators When it Comes to Pain During Sex

Sex should be fun, but for many people pain is not. Nevertheless, sex sometimes surprises us with a side of pain. It might be fleeting–from a lack of lubrication, an unexpected muscle cramp, some chafing or pinched skin, or it could be the result of a more serious medical condition. But whether it’s from shame or embarrassment, people often don’t talk about it. Read More >>

science
Vibrating Needles Could Make Injections Painless by Tricking Your Brain

Jabbing a steel needle into your flesh is not ever going to be fun, per se, but scientists have found a way to make it hurt a lot less. The trick is actually fooling your nerve cells with a small device that applies pressure and vibration. Here's how it works. Read More >>

science
Nice Try, Vegans: Plants Can Actually Hear Themselves Being Eaten

While it's still unclear whether or not plants can actually feel us sinking our teeth in, one thing is for certain: you can be damn well sure they're hearing it. Read More >>

science
How Chillies Can be Used to Treat Pain

Humans are, essentially, sadomasochists. For more 600 years we have sought out, cultivated, eaten, applied to our skin and even weaponised a chemical capable of making us feel heat and pain. Read More >>

lego
Why Stepping on a Piece of Lego Hurts So Much

Right up there with how the gun on the original Duck Hunt game worked, why it hurts so much to step on a Lego brick is one of the questions we're asked the most, so it's high time we answered it. As anyone who's done it knows, stepping on a Lego block is something akin to being shot in the foot by a knife soaked in wasp venom. In truth, this is an inherent danger of allowing a child to exist in your home. Read More >>

science
How Your Brain Responds to Pain

Pain is a strange medical phenomenon: dull or sharp, mild or intense, it's difficult to describe and so often tough to treat, too. But we're increasingly understanding how pain affects the brain—and this video explains what we know. Read More >>

medicine
Why Life Before Anaesthesia Made Doctors More Caring

In 1812, the English novelist Frances Burney described her mounting terror as she prepared to undergo a mastectomy without any anaesthetic. Having two hours to wait until the dreaded event (her 'execution', as she put it), she wandered into the room where the operation was going to take place and 'recoiled'. In an effort to control her fear she 'walked backwards & forwards till I quieted all emotion, & became, by degrees, nearly stupid – torpid, without sentiment or consciousness'. Read More >>