Nociceptive pain is pain caused by nerve cells, called nociceptors, reacting to unpleasant stimuli. Examples of stimuli related to nociceptive pain include intense heat, a sharp cut, or salt coming in contact with an open wound.

Nociceptors play a key role in providing warning signals to the brain in order to protect the body from injury. For example, when a hand touches a hot stovetop surface, the person quickly withdraws his or her hand.