eli5. What’s with the instinctual head rub we do when we bump our head?

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eli5. What’s with the instinctual head rub we do when we bump our head?

In: Biology

It’s not just the head. Rubbing *any* part of your body right after you injure that body part helps you feel better. [Scientific American had a good, short article on it.](https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-soothing-touch/)

Where nerves fire, they suppress the nerves around them, meaning if you have nerves firing in pain, causing the nerves around there to fire by rubbing the area will act to lessen the sense of pain. The nerves registering the rubbing will suppress the nerves registering pain

Blood rushes to the impact site which causes swelling in the capillaries and vessels in order to begin the healing process. This will cause further discomfort once the “speed knot” forms. Rubbing has the intention of keeping the blood from rushing in and causing edema/swelling, this shortening the overall time of discomfort/pain.