This is for all the boxers who feel numb in their hands after a boxing round. Why do boxing gloves hurt? That’s a question for science.
Here’s the answer: it all has to do with physics. Some biology is there too, so let’s discuss the science below.
Physics And Biology Of Why Do Boxing Gloves Hurt
Boxing gloves are a best friend to boxers. But usually, after about, boxers feel pain in their hands.
The feeling is like someone hit them with a hammer. So, why does this happen?
1. Physics Of Boxing Gloves Hurting:
Physics says that the object will push back with an equal and opposite force when you hit something.
This is called the law of action and reaction. Thus if we look deeper, here is how it affects boxing gloves:
The harder the object, the more it will push back.
So when you hit a punching bag with your boxing gloves, the gloves apply a force to the bag.
The bag then pushes back with an equal and opposite force on the gloves.
This action is similar to hitting a wall. The harder you hit it, the more it will hurt your hand.
The boxing gloves are designed to protect your hands from impact. They have padding that absorbs some of the force from the punch.
This cushioning protects your hand from the full force of the impact.
However, the cushioning does not absorb all of the force. Some of the force is still transmitted to your hand.
You still feel pain in your hands after punching a bag with boxing gloves.
1.3 Surface Area:
The surface area of the boxing glove also affects the amount of force transmitted to your hand.
A larger surface area will distribute the force over a larger area. This will reduce the amount of force transmitted to your hand.
A smaller surface area will concentrate the force on a small space. This will increase the amount of force transmitted to your hand.
1.4 Power Generated:
The power of the punch affects how much force your hands have to bear.
A weaker punch will not transmit as much force to your hand as a stronger punch.
Likewise, a more powerful punch will transmit more force to your hand. Therefore, it will hurt more.
1.5 Production Power/Speed:
The speed at which a boxer produces boxing gloves asserts force on your hands.
Faster moving gloves will transfer more kinetic energy to the object.
This is because the faster moving gloves have more momentum.
Slower-moving gloves will transfer less kinetic energy due to less momentum.
1.6 Generated Force:
The generated force is the force that the boxing gloves apply to the punching bag.
This is different from the power of the punch. The power is the force that you apply to the gloves.
The generated force is the force that the gloves apply to the bag.
This is affected by the weight of the gloves, the speed of the punch, and the surface area of the gloves.
The gloves can apply more force to the bag with more weight and speed.
The gloves can distribute the force over a larger area with a larger surface area.
It hurts your hands when you are punching a bag with boxing gloves.
The weight of the gloves causes your hands to feel pain or relief.
Heavier gloves will transfer more kinetic energy to the object than lighter gloves.
This is because the heavier gloves have more mass. The more mass an object has, the more kinetic energy it has.
Lighter gloves will transfer less kinetic energy to the object due to less mass.
The motion of the gloves also affects the amount of force transmitted to your hand.
If the gloves move faster, they will transfer more kinetic energy to your hand, and vice versa.
Motion affects the amount of force because it affects the momentum of the gloves.
The design of the boxing gloves also affects if your hand hurts or not.
Different designs will distribute the force in different ways. For instance:
– Fingerless gloves will not protect your fingers as much as gloves that cover your fingers.
– Gloves that have padding on the back of the hand will protect your knuckles better.
– Gloves of softer materials will absorb more force than gloves of harder materials.
2. Biology Of Boxing Gloves Hurting:
Now that we have seen the physics of the boxing gloves let us look at the biology of why this happens.
2.1 Gradual Release Of Endorphins:
When you engage in a movement activity such as boxing, your body releases endorphins.
Endorphins are hormones that act as natural painkillers in the body.
They work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain to reduce pain perception.
However, endorphins do not work instantaneously.
It can take up to 30 minutes for the body to produce enough endorphins to have a pain-reducing effect.
When you first start boxing, you may not feel the pain-reducing effects of the endorphins right away.
It will hurt your hand because endorphins have not gotten released yet.
But, as you continue to box and exercise (daily or so), your body will gradually release more endorphins.
As the endorphins bind to more opioid receptors in the brain, you will start to feel less pain.
2.2 Pain Tolerance:
Individuals have different pain tolerances. Some people can tolerate more pain than others.
This is due to differences in how the brain processes the pain.
For instance, some people may have a higher threshold for pain due to genetic factors.
Others may have a lower threshold for pain due to previous injuries.
2.3 Damage To Nerves:
Repeated punching can damage the nerves in your hand. This is because the nerves get compressed every time you punch.
After a while, the damage to the nerves can cause numbness or itch in hand.
Moreover, the damage to the nerves can also cause chronic pain.
Punching can also cause inflammation in the tissues of the hand. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection.
It causes redness, swelling, and pain. The inflammation can cause the hand to feel stiff and sore.
Also, the inflammation can lead to the formation of scar tissue.
Arthritis is a common condition that affects the joints. It causes inflammation, pain, and stiffness.
The boxing gloves can cause arthritis in the joints of the hand. This is because repeated punching can damage the cartilage in the joints.
Punching can also cause fractures in the bones of the hand. The most common type of fracture is a stress fracture.
A stress fracture is a small crack in the bone that occurs due to repetitive stress.
Repeated punching can put a lot of stress on the bones of the hand, which can lead to fractures.
Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons. The tendons are the tissues that attach the muscles to the bones.
Punching can cause tendonitis in the tendons of the hand. This is because repeated punching can damage the tendons.
It also causes the tendons to rub against the bones, further damaging their tendons.
2.8 Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the hands and wrists. It is due to compression of the median nerve.
The median nerve is a nerve that runs from the forearm to the hand. It controls the movement of the muscles in hand.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be by repetitive motion, such as typing or punching.
The repeated motion can compress the median nerve. It can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in hand.
2.9 Ganglion Cysts:
Ganglion cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can develop in the joints or tendons of the hand.
They are usually not painful, but they can cause discomfort. Repetitive motion, such as punching. can cause Ganglion cysts.
The repeated motion can damage the tissues in the hand, forming a ganglion cyst.
2.10 Different Types Of Pain:
There are different types of pain that you may feel when boxing.
1. The first type of pain is the initial pain you feel when you start boxing.
This is because your body has not yet released endorphins.
2. The second type of pain is the pain you feel after boxing for a while. That’s when your body has started to release endorphins.
However, this pain is usually less intense than the initial pain.
3. The third type of pain is the pain that you feel when you get hit by your opponent.
This pain is usually more intense than the other two types of pain.
Why Does The Third Type Of Pain Hurt More?
The third type of pain, which you feel when you get hit, hurts more because it is a sudden and intense pain.
The initial pain and the pain after you have been boxing for a while are gradual and less intense.
How To Prevent Pain From Boxing Gloves?
Now that we know how boxing gloves can hurt your hand let’s look at how you can avoid or reduce the pain.
1. Use Proper Gloves:
Make sure you are using the proper gloves for your hand size. If the gloves are too big or too small, it can cause pain.
Thus, select the gloves that fit you the best. For instance: For hands that are 8-10 inches, choose gloves that are 10 ounces.
For hands that are 10-12 inches, choose gloves that are 12 ounces.
2. Use Handwraps:
In addition to gloves, you should also use hand wraps.
Handwraps help to support the wrist and hand. They also help to absorb the impact of the punch.
They are vital if you have a history of hand or wrist injuries.
3. Use Ice:
If you start to feel pain in your hand, apply ice to the area. Ice helps to reduce inflammation and pain.
Moreover, it helps to prevent further damage to the tissues.
4. Rest With Breaks:
If you are experiencing pain in your hand, take a break from boxing. Let your hand rest and heal before you start punching again.
Make sure you take frequent breaks in between punches. This will help to reduce the amount of stress on your hand.
5. See A Doctor:
If you are experiencing pain in your hand, see a doctor to rule out any serious injuries.
A doctor can give you the proper diagnosis and treatment for your condition.
Boxing gloves can hurt your hand due to many reasons. Padding in the gloves can cause pain in the hands. Also, speed, weight, motion, and form while punching can cause pain.
It can also lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and ganglion cysts.
To avoid or reduce the pain, use proper gloves, hand wraps, and ice. Take breaks often and see a doctor if the pain persists.
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