In the process of breathing, the oxygen present in the environment is taken in and the carbon dioxide that is a waste product in the body is released into the environment. This process is known as respiration, and without it, a body cannot survive.
The amount of carbon dioxide present in the bloodstream has an impact on the rate of respiration. Not only does the carbon dioxide react directly with the respiration control center located in the Medulla oblongata in the brain stem, it also has an impact on the pH of the cerebrospinal fluid. When the level of carbon dioxide is high in the bloodstream, the rate of respiration tends to increase. But, the question is why does respiration rate increase with pain.
Usually, when a person is in pain, the limbic system as well as the sympathetic center in the hypothalamus gets influenced. This causes the respiration rate to increase. The same occurs even when a person experiences strong and powerful emotions. Usually, when a person feels or experiences pain, the breathing pattern changes. The pain causes low volume inspiration to take place and as the amount of oxygen reaching the lungs decreases, the person tends to ventilate more in order to ensure that the right amount of oxygen reaches the lungs albeit in low volumes.
Fast breathing is noticed in a number of situations, like fracturing a rib, experiencing sudden sharp and shooting pain or being exposed to sudden cold. It has been seen that when the pain subsides, the rate of respiration gradually comes back to normal.
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