Science Finally Explains Why Stubbing Your Toe Hurts So F*cking Much
Stubbing your toe often hurts more than scraping your knee or even reading the news.
Milwaukee College of Health Sciences professor Chris Geiser has the reason, and it stems from an evolutionary process that led to toes becoming as sensitive as they are today.
Humans have long been using toes as their "interface with the world," says the clinical assistant professor of exercise science. They were often the first body part to touch a new environment and test how it felt on the skin.
This is not just because of their location on the body, but also due to the many nerve endings they contain, which can quickly tell if something is hot, sharp or full of splinters.
It was also easier to cut your foot before the invention of shoes, and the lack of medicine at the time meant that you could die from such an injury.
That risk forced those who experienced the most pain when stubbing their toes to go to extra lengths to make sure it never happened.
It was these individuals who injured their toes the least and therefore lived the longest, "creating an evolutionary advantage," Geiser says.
This may be why there is so little skin or muscle on the toes to protect the bones inside.
But perhaps the biggest reason stubbing your toe is so painful is that they are at the end of our legs, which we hurl forward at great speeds when we walk or run.
The professor added,
Every bit of the kinetic energy created in moving our legs forward is absorbed by the skin and bone of the toe.
So when a toe hits the end of a door at a brisk walking pace, the speed could essentially be similar to that of a ball being violently thrown at a wall, according to the Metro.
These inconveniences will thankfully be vanquished when those couches from "Wall-E" make walking obsolete.