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What is Nociception?

Nociception is our sense of pain. 

It's what allows us to know if something is harmful to our bodies.

Like when we cut or bruise ourselves, or when we strain our muscles, or burn and freeze our skin.

What does under-sensitivity look like?

If you're undersensitive to it you might not notice when you are:

- hurt and continue causing further injury

- touching burning hot or freezing surfaces

- doing activities that could harm you or even seek them out

- doing things that may hurt others

- injured and so may not seek out medical support until the injury is advanced or tell others when injured

- and not react to pain or do so in unconventional ways

attention / exclamation sign

What helps?

- be aware of alternate expressions of pain; we may not show pain in the same way or not show it at all

- learn how to check for and spot the signs of damage

- be aware and remove hazards

- use protective equipment during activities that may cause harm

- in the home use soft furnishings and carpets

- put temperature indicators on hot things

- place covers on plugs

- use safe lights and hobs like induction hobs that don't burn

What does over-sensitivity look like?

If you're oversensitive to it you may:

- find small cuts and bruises may really hurt

- avoid rough activities and not feel safe in crowds and busy places;

this may cause you anxiety

- avoid all physical contact with others such as hugs or touching due to pain

- seek out medical support often or not tell others due to being dismissed over your life

- worry often that you're ill or that there's something wrong


hot surface

What helps?

- ask before touching

- learn about the body to know when it's damaged

- be understanding and compassionate about anxiety

- don't dismiss or invalidate their experience of pain

- learn about co-occurring pain conditions like fibromyalgia, hypermobility, and bowel conditions

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