How does pain balm help relieve pain

Pain is a sensation, which is mediated through several receptors on the target organ.

For example , bare nerve endings, end bulbs of Krouse, Pacinian carpuscles etc, are responsible for mediating the pain to the central nervous system.

When these receptors are stimulated by various metabolic chemicals, like Substance P, and metabolic acids around they send signal of pain sensation across the spinal cord, through substantia gelatinosa ( a receptor system) to the brain, which is perceived in thalamus as a crude sensations, further propagated to the sensory cortex to know the quality of pain, whether it is pin prick, or burning pain etc.

The fundamental origin of pain in any region is the receptors of pain. There are certain pains which are highly pleasurable. For example, the scratching pain for itch (which is also a pain sensation), is notable. This type of pleasurable pain is modulated by the pain balms, which actually mask the underlying pain.

The pain balms do contain substances called thymol, menthol, eucalytpus oil, and mainly methyl salyslate ( oil of winter green ), which are irritant amalgamations which irritates the pain nerve endings, and cause a pleasurable pain which is appreciated by our brain. In this super pleasurable pain , the underlying pain get masked. Once the effect these irritants goes away, the pain may appear or be perceived again. The pain balms alleviate only temporary stress and strain pain, and not organic pain which do not respond to them.