Evidence has been developing about the potential analgesic effects of wound dressings. Several theories have been formulated as to how a dressing placed over a wound might contribute to pain relief. This paper reviews these potential mechanisms. In all, 10 are discussed here, most of which will probably overlap, leading to a high degree of complexity and interdependence. The psychological components inherent in the biopsychosocial model of pain make a key contribution to any analgesic effects that occur following dressing application. The 10 mechanisms identified in this paper will need significant and rigorous testing to determine which, if any, can be confirmed as analgesic.