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      Swearing as a response to pain :

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          Abstract

          Although a common pain response, whether swearing alters individuals' experience of pain has not been investigated. This study investigated whether swearing affects cold-pressor pain tolerance (the ability to withstand immersing the hand in icy water), pain perception and heart rate. In a repeated measures design, pain outcomes were assessed in participants asked to repeat a swear word versus a neutral word. In addition, sex differences and the roles of pain catastrophising, fear of pain and trait anxiety were explored. Swearing increased pain tolerance, increased heart rate and decreased perceived pain compared with not swearing. However, swearing did not increase pain tolerance in males with a tendency to catastrophise. The observed pain-lessening (hypoalgesic) effect may occur because swearing induces a fight-or-flight response and nullifies the link between fear of pain and pain perception.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Theoretical perspectives on the relation between catastrophizing and pain.

          The tendency to "catastrophize" during painful stimulation contributes to more intense pain experience and increased emotional distress. Catastrophizing has been broadly conceived as an exaggerated negative "mental set" brought to bear during painful experiences. Although findings have been consistent in showing a relation between catastrophizing and pain, research in this area has proceeded in the relative absence of a guiding theoretical framework. This article reviews the literature on the relation between catastrophizing and pain and examines the relative strengths and limitations of different theoretical models that could be advanced to account for the pattern of available findings. The article evaluates the explanatory power of a schema activation model, an appraisal model, an attention model, and a communal coping model of pain perception. It is suggested that catastrophizing might best be viewed from the perspective of hierarchical levels of analysis, where social factors and social goals may play a role in the development and maintenance of catastrophizing, whereas appraisal-related processes may point to the mechanisms that link catastrophizing to pain experience. Directions for future research are suggested.
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            Pain: an overview.

            Until the 1960s, pain was considered an inevitable sensory response to tissue damage. There was little room for the affective dimension of this ubiquitous experience, and none whatsoever for the effects of genetic differences, past experience, anxiety, or expectation. In recent years, great advances have been made in our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie pain and in the treatment of people who complain of pain. The roles of factors outside the patient's body have also been clarified. Pain is probably the most common symptomatic reason to seek medical consultation. All of us have headaches, burns, cuts, and other pains at some time during childhood and adult life. Individuals who undergo surgery are almost certain to have postoperative pain. Ageing is also associated with an increased likelihood of chronic pain. Health-care expenditures for chronic pain are enormous, rivalled only by the costs of wage replacement and welfare programmes for those who do not work because of pain. Despite improved knowledge of underlying mechanisms and better treatments, many people who have chronic pain receive inadequate care.
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              Pain-related fear is more disabling than pain itself: evidence on the role of pain-related fear in chronic back pain disability

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NeuroReport
                NeuroReport
                Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
                0959-4965
                2011
                June 2009
                : 1
                Article
                10.1097/WNR.0b013e32832e64b1
                19590391
                © 2009

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