Tag Archives: It’s a snake that hunts birds

This may seem a silly question, but I can’t find my answer through online searches. When someone breaks their back (spinal cord broken), will they still be able to scream? Pain-wise, what does someone feel, if anything? My character is healed with magic, but between the time his back is broken and he’s healed is what I’m having problems with figuring out…. I’d prefer this be answered privately, but if you feel this may help someone else, I don’t mind it being publicly answered.

This is actually going to need to be public, because, I’m not a doctor, so there’s a higher chance of me screwing up the medical questions, which means having someone who’s more familiar with the subject checking our work is a bonus.

In general we don’t do private answers beyond a paragraph or two, simply because if the information has the potential of being useful to more than just the person writing the ask. Especially with stuff like this, where it’s not just you.

Also, again, the major disclaimer is, damage to the nervous system is a little more advanced than any of the actual first aid training I got in Scouts.

The basic idea is your nervous system is the means your brain has for relaying information and instruction to your body and back. When you damage it, the information just stops going (both ways). You can no longer instruct parts of your body to function, and they can’t feed back any sensory information. All of this kind of “flows downstream,” so, if you sever the spinal column, everything past that is just gone.

This manifests as numbness, rather than specific pain. This is where the, “I can’t feel my legs/arms/whatever” cliche actually applies. Nerves can get nicked, I knew someone that had a nerve in his arm damaged by an Emerald Tree Boa. The resulting injury left him with a numb patch in the center of his palm.

The brain can interpret no nerve data as painful. However, this tends to happen with phantom limb syndrome, rather than just nerve damage. If you can actually look at the affected area, and confirm that no, nothing’s gone horribly wrong, then the pain dissipates.

But, again, this one’s a little outside my area of expertise, so I could be wrong here.

-Starke