It’s strange, isn’t it that sometimes even a minor injury stubbing one’s toe feels getting stabbed in the back? But as it turns out, there’s a good reason behind it. Read on, if you’re a curious cat.
When one stubs in their toe, they slam it with a force that’s equal to 2-3 times their body weight. That can easily be equated to a karate punch. Since the toe is a small surface area, the force can’t be spread out either. Hence, the pain remains concentrated at the point it hurt.
The same mechanism can be applied to explain the pain we feel when we step on a bulletin board pink. But unlike stubbing the toe, the pain here is slightly delayed. The aching throb comes after. That's because when you stub your toe, you're actually hitting a bundle of special nerve endings called nociceptors. They all fire at once, blaring a danger signal. But some signals travel faster than others. That’s why the pain you feel is mellow at that moment but sharp a moment later.
Nociceptors are all over the body, from the eyes to the bladder. They’re concentrated at the highest densities in parts of the body used to explore the environment, like fingertips and lips. That's why accidents like paper cuts and chapped lips can also hurt more than they seem like they should.
But let’s not dwell over the pain we feel. Researchers think that these are teething pains and have helped us evolve into a power evolved species.
Now you know why that minor toe accident hurts so much!