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  • You know, stubbing your toe hurts.

    你知道的,踢到腳趾簡直痛死。

  • It's right up there with paper cuts and chapped lips, annoying minor injuries that hurt way more than they have any right to.

    程度與紙片割手與嘴唇龜裂相當。這些小傷造成的痛達到人神共憤的境界。

  • But it turns out there's a good reason why stubbing your toe hurts so much.

    不過事實上,踢到腳趾這麼痛是非常有原因的。

  • When you stub your toe, you're slamming it with a force equal to two to three times your body weight.

    踢到腳趾的當下,你相當於用體重兩到三倍的力量踢腳趾。

  • That's about the same force as a karate punch.

    差不多等於空手道的一拳。

  • And since your toe has a tiny surface area, that force can't be spread out, so the pain stays concentrated at the point of impact.

    由於腳趾的表面積很小而力量不能分散,因此疼痛就集中在受到衝擊的那一點。

  • It's the same reason it hurts so much more to step on the tiny, pointy end of a thumbtack than the wider, blunt end.

    同樣道理,踩在圖釘小又尖銳的那端時,劇痛程度遠勝踩到較寬又鈍的那頭。

  • But you don't just feel the immediate shock like when you step on a thumbtack.

    然而,你感受到的不僅是當下踩到圖釘而立馬反應的衝擊。

  • There's that aching throb that comes after.

    還有隨之而來的抽痛。

  • That's because when you stub your toe, you're actually hitting a bundle of special nerve endings called nociceptors.

    這是因為當你踢到腳趾時,其實擊中的正是一堆特別的神經末梢—傷害受器。

  • They all fire at once, blaring a danger signal.

    它們立馬發出刺耳的警訊。

  • But some signals travel faster than others.

    可是有些信號傳送速度較快。

  • The faster A-delta nociceptors fire the first wave of signal.

    A-delta 傷害受器 (神經纖維) 發出第一波的信號。

  • Which races at 20 meters per second of thousands of densely bundled nerve fibers, and ultimately to your brain.

    在大量密集的神經纖維裡以每秒 20 公尺的速度全速前進,最終進入腦部。

  • That causes the sharp, sudden pain you feel at the moment of impact.

    在受到衝擊的當下造成突然的刺痛。

  • But some nerve fibers called C nociceptors send a slower signal at only 2 meters per second.

    不過有些叫作 C 傷害受器的神經纖維,其送出的信號較慢,速度僅為每秒 2 公尺。

  • So after a moment's delay, the second wave of pain signals reach your brain.

    所以短暫的延遲後,第二波的疼痛信號到達腦部了。

  • That's the dull throbbing that lingers on.

    其停留體內並隱隱作痛。

  • You can find nociceptors all over your body from your eyes to your bladder.

    全身從眼睛到膀胱都可找到傷害受器的蹤跡。

  • But they're concentrated at the highest densities in parts of your body that you use to explore your environment.

    但它們高密度地聚集於探索環境的身體部位。

  • Like your fingertips and your lips.

    像是指尖和嘴唇。

  • That's why accidents like paper cuts and chapped lips can also hurt more than they seem like they should.

    這就是為何紙片割手與嘴唇龜裂的痛似乎被放大了好幾倍。

  • Now, your toe isn't packed with as many nociceptors as your fingertips.

    雖然你腳趾上的傷害受器沒有指尖的多。

  • But since there's not much in the way of padding to cushion the blow, it's easy to set those unprotected nociceptors off.

    但由於沒有什麼墊材類的東西可以減少衝擊,未受保護的傷害受器便容易被觸發。

  • And that's no coincidence.

    這並非巧合。

  • Researchers suspect the pain that we feel from mishaps like a stubbed toe might have even saved our ancestors' lives.

    研究人員懷疑,我們腳趾踢到的痛,可能甚至拯救了祖先的性命。

  • Back before antibiotics, even the tiniest cut could mean a deadly infection, and feet, which were constantly in contact with dirty, bacteria-infested surfaces, were particularly vulnerable.

    抗生素問世前,即使是最小的傷口都可能造成致命的感染,而腳特別脆弱,因為常常與骯髒又充滿細菌的地面接觸。

  • So the people who had extra-sensitive feet might have been more careful about where they stepped.

    所以腳部特別敏感的人,就可能特別留意腳下所踩之物。

  • As a result, they'd be less likely to get infections and would live to pass on their genes.

    因此,他們感染的機率可能較小,進而繁衍後代,將基因留存。

  • So the next time that you collapse on the floor cradling your aching toe...

    所以下次你痛得倒在地下輕抱著腳趾時...

  • You can thank your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandpa for the privilege.

    你可以感謝你曾曾曾曾曾曾曾曾曾曾曾祖父所賜的恩典。

You know, stubbing your toe hurts.

你知道的,踢到腳趾簡直痛死。

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頭皮發麻!為何踢到腳趾這麼痛?!(Why Stubbing Your Toe Hurts So Much)

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    Liang Chen 發佈於 2019 年 03 月 19 日
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