Why can’t we block out pain when we know we an injury is not dangerous?


For example, I cut my arm and I immediately feel pain. Pain is there to notify me that something is wrong or that I’m injured, but now that I’m aware and that I’ve taken care of it (say poured some disinfecant and wrapped it up) why do I still feel that pain. Why can’t our brain know that the wound is not dangerous anymore?

In: 2

No pain is not to tell you that you are harmed, pain is to keep you from using and protecting the part that is hurt. It is the body’s way to force you to stop using that body part, so it can get time to heal.

Because our nerves that first detected the injury, still feel the wound is not healed, so they continue to send the message up the spinal cord.

I broke my right pinky knuckle while hiking (tripped. Silly, but it happens)

I was 2 miles from the truck over challenging terrain. Once I realized it was broken, I let it dangle and trudged back to the truck. It hurt, but how I felt about the hurt had a lot more to do with the pain than the actual sensation.

I look at it like this: pain tells me something is wrong. As long as I listen, the pain doesn’t get louder. After a bit, it becomes background noise. Especially if you have something to focus on like exiting the wilderness to find medical care

Because you damage is still not healed. If it didn’t hurt then you’d go back to using it at normal strength and you could make it worse before it has the opportunity to heal.

Natural selection doesn’t care about your comfort as long as you survive long enough to make babies

How your injury looks is a poor indication of how healed/dangerous it is (you cannot see what it’s like internally, and you can’t see it externally either if you cover it up with bandage).

Others have already said that the continuing pain is to prevent you from further hurting yourself until the injury is healed (without the pain you’d likely move your injured part around, thus slowing the healing process).

Pain signals are important for us to survive everyday life. It prevents us from doing things like biting the tip of our tongue off, burning ourselves on hot surfaces, fracturing our bones due to constantly bumping into things, not noticing foreign objects in our eyes and thus damaging our vision, not noticing infections, etc.

There are people who have a rare condition called congenital insensitivity to pain (CIP), also known as congenital analgesia. These people cannot feel/react to pain so they have to try to monitor themselves to avoid things like I just described above. Unfortunately, this is very difficult and most die in childhood due to missed infections and injuries that us pain-feeling folks would’ve noticed long before they became fatal.

Take some pain medication to dull the pain if need be, but appreciate the importance of what pain signals are doing for you.