Why do scrapes and paper cuts hurt a lot more then more severe injuries?

Why do such minor injuries sting and burn so much more then other injuries?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Severe being a relative term, as broken legs and shrapnel and such can hurt pretty damn bad.

    There are a few things that can create that effect temporarily. One is that some injuries completely kill off the sensory neurons in an area, like some serious burns. They will hurt like crazy around the edges and everywhere later on, but can be almost numb initially.

    Another is epinephrine (also referred to as adrenaline). When you get severely injured, your body goes into 'fight or flight' mode in a big way. Epinephrine gets dumped into your blood which, among other things, has the effect of significantly reducing your sensation of pain. This helps you continue to function for a while, hopefully allowing you to save yourself or get help. The pain will set in later as it wears off.

    A small little injury like a scrape or small cut gets a lot of pain receptors shooting off, without triggering much in the way of adrenaline. It also doesn't do enough damage to nerve endings to prevent the sensations from reaching your brain. Remember, your perceptions of stimuli are relative. In a quiet room, a whisper sounds quite loud.

  • 1 decade ago

    Because all the nerves are in the upper part of your skin, so when you get a papercut or a scrape, you are tearing away at those nerves. Those that don't get utterly destroyed during the injury are exposed to open air, and if the air is cold, it hurts a lot more.

  • 1 decade ago

    I guess you haven't experienced a severe injury; because that is completely false.

    However, given say burns, a 3rd degree (most severe) burn can actually be painless, whilst a 1st or 2nd degree burn can hurt like hell, and this is attributed to the damaging of the nerve endings at the location of the injury. No nerve endings = no pain

  • 1 decade ago

    What makes you think a severe injury hurst less that a scrape?

    How about a reputable source for that.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    perhaps it is because when you get a major injury, your body outputs endorphins to help u cope with the pain. And since a scrath or paper cut isnt so bad, then your body sees no reason to go into that mode.

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