Anyone who has ever banged their funny bone or accidentally put a hand on a hot stove knows how common it is to use a four letter word. When individuals experience acute pain, they often swear out of frustration. New research out of Britain actually is now showing that using expletives will decrease pain.
In a study at Britain’s Keele University, 64 students at the college participated by sticking their hands into buckets of water for several minutes. Students were then placed into two groups. The first group was allowed to curse at will, and the second had to use a word that was not in any way shape or form an expletive.
The end result of the study was that using swear words allowed them to keep their hands in the ice longer, and also the pain intensity perception went down. The lead author of the study, Richard Stevens, said “swearing increases your pain tolerance.” In the beginning, the hypothesis of the study was that swearing would actually make the situation worse. The study results actually showed the opposite, that swearing makes pain more tolerable and helps a lot!
In all likelihood, swearing evolved as a primitive reflex over thousands of years. Humans have been able to put it into a verbal contact with language whereas animals simply let out a sharp yelp if for instance, the person steps on the dog’s tail. The area of the brain that is responsible for the urge to swear is very deep, suggesting that it does come from a primitive source.
One of the things that was found in the study is that in those who were able to use swear words, the heart rates were consistently higher than in the control group. The theory is that the emotional response of swearing is actually responsible for the pain reduction. While both men and women experience pain reduction with swearing, women had a stronger reduction. The authors hypothesize this was because overall, women use swear words less so as it is more of a shock to their system when a painful response occurs and a swear word comes out.
Therefore, if individuals refrain from using curse words during normal activities of life, it’s quite possible that if a swear word is used when pain occurs, it may have more of a pain reduction effect. If you are living in pain in the Phoenix and Scottsdale metropolitan area, Arizona Pain Specialists can help you.
All swearing aside, the board-certified and award-winning pain management doctors in Arizona and Phoenix chiropractors at the various AZ pain center locations offer over a dozen treatments to help get rid of your pain. For instance, if you need the best pain management Mesa AZ, then Arizona Pain has a convenient office in Chandler.
Call 602-507-6550 to get started today at the best pain clinic in Arizona.