During his first shift in a WHL game last season, Boston Bruins prospect Jake DeBrusk took a slapshot to the area of the body where no man wants to be hit. He eventually left the game with a gonad inflamed to the size of a tennis ball.
While the damage to his boys was painful and required surgery, what DeBrusk remembers most is the pain he felt somewhere else — his stomach.
“I didn’t know what happened, because you don’t feel it in that area,” he told WEEI. “It goes up to your mid-section, so I thought my appendix burst or something, because I couldn’t move. It was an unbelievable feeling. I’ll never forget it.”
So why exactly does a blow below the belt send off pain signals above it?
According to Dr. Darius Paduch, the director of sexual health and medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, it’s a matter of biology and gravity. Essentially, before the testicles descend toward the scrotum, they develop near the kidneys, in the abdomen, and still have sensory nerves that connect them with the bottom portion of the upper body.
“So when the nuts are hit or squeezed, the nerve sends a signal to the upper part of the belly, which is why it hurts in the stomach when you get kicked down there,” Dr. Paduch told Men’s Health.
While we’re on the topic, we’d like to remind you that if it still hurts 15 minutes after you did something similar to what our friend does below, seek medical attention immediately.