Q: Getting winded - what happens?

What are the actual effects of being struck in the abdomen?

When you get hit in the leg or arm for example, you feel pain because the impact causes damage which your nerves sense.

But when you get struck in the abdomen, the sensation is different and longer lasting and effects breathing. People always classify this sensation as "getting winded" but does it have anything to do with lungs or air at all? What is this sensation - what I mean is that it doesn't feel like impact on muscle (like the thigh, shoulder or bicep); is it the digestive organs which are reeling from the impact?


A blow to the mid section compressed the diaphram to create the sensation of being winded. The diaphram is key in expanding the chest cavity when inflating the lungs each time you take a breath. If you get a hard punch to the abdominals it disrupts the action of the involuntary muscles that preform this action and you have a hard time catching you breath until the rythemn is restored. On another not organs don't tend to take impact quite as well as large muscle groups (ie. kidney or liver shots can be crippling.)

The phrase of getting the wind knocked out of you......sort of misleading. Like mentioned above, the blow causes the diaphragm to loose the natural function it performs. If this happens, people can panic quite easily,...... cause of course they cant breathe in. Tell, them to exhale sharply,....... then breathe in. This seems to put everything back in time, and in most cases i have seen, seems to work.