Here’s The Scientific Reason Why Stubbing Your Toe Is So Super Painful

If there was a survey done on the number of people who have ever stubbed their toe, I’m sure the results will be a 100%.

We’ve all had that moment where we hit our toe on a rock, a door or a table and jumped around while cursing like we’ve totally lost it.

It’s just so bloody (sometimes literally) painful.

Image: ravenhairedandalsodoeeyed.com
Image: ravenhairedandalsodoeeyed.com

Well, this is the scientific explanation of what happens when you stub your toe.

The Breakdown

Ever heard people sometimes say that the pain is all in your head? They’re kind of right in a way.

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The hammer you just got hit with on your toe sends a message to your brain, and it translates it to the pain you have.

Scientists are still trying to decipher what pain is all about. Some say it relates to your state of mind; others talk about previous painful experiences.

At the end of the day, it just hurts. Like hell.

Image: flickr.com
Image: flickr.com

The Grey’s Anatomy on Pain

It’s good that you feel that horrid, sharp pain in a way. It’s your body’s biological signal to tell you that something’s gone wrong. On top of that, your toe is blessed (or cursed in this case) with nerve ending receptors. The nociceptors work like the body’s own x-ray in finding tissue damage. The input of the pain is the size of a huge processor! Ouch.  

The Brain’s Cortical Homunculus – WHAT?

This particular spot of the brain get all the sensory info on every bit of your body, so you might want to protect your genitals from getting stubbed too. Think of it in this way – in the past, infections used to kill a large number of people.

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This was especially so when feet came into contact with bacteria-prone spots. Open wounds and cuts were the main targets. Toes like ours these days actually get a lot of sensory information as you move around, and you’re actually being guided to protect yourself from cuts and gashes. It’s an evolution that works to your advantage.

Swearing helps

Ladies, sadly we apparently have a lower tolerance for pain compared to men. I’d beg to differ, but I know I always get pissed the moment my toe’s been hit.

And science has confirmed that swearing does help. So long as you’re not within close range of your parents, go ahead and say all the obscenities you want!

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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com in 2016 and revised on 11 July 2017.

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Top Image: flickr.com

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Annette Anthony

Annette Anthony

Lena's constantly juggling between the cross-trainer and her love for food. She dreams off flying to far off places and trying out new things. In the meantime, she's stuck at home with two cheeky minions and a sloppy Retriever.
Annette Anthony