Pain Clinics are becoming very big into psychological coping – well, they better teach patients to swear more – as swearing has now shown to alleviate pain.
Stephens, Richard; Atkins, John; Kingston, Andrew
Swearing as a response to pain.
Neuroreport. 20(12):1056-1060, August 5, 2009. abstract
They found subjects could tolerate cold (the famous cold pressor test) longer while swearing. As heart rate was elevated they thought maybe there was relief by way of activation of the emotional system system. Catastrophizing males didn’t benefit perhaps because they had already used up their swear allotment ;)
I’ll have to have new respect for swearers as being good copers….
Any good combos work for you?
Be warned, swearing overuse makes it less effective:
J Pain. 2011 Nov 9. [Epub ahead of print]
Swearing as a Response to Pain-Effect of Daily Swearing Frequency.
Stephens R, Umland C. abstract here
Conclusion – “swearing (cursing) provides readily available and effective relief from pain. However, overuse of swearing in everyday situations lessens its effectiveness as a short-term intervention to reduce pain.” – So keep it for emergencies!