Reduce Pain By Swearing

Reduce Pain By Swearing

You’ve just stubbed your toe or banged your knee. Go ahead and let out a stream of expletives. Studies suggest swearing can lessen the pain.

Photo by SFerdon (Shutterstock)

A study by Keele University researchers found that swearing helped volunteers endure pain nearly 50 per cent longer than those who didn’t curse. The 64 volunteers submerged their hands in freezing water, first repeating their chosen swear word, then just using a common word. Swearing helped them endure the pain for almost two minutes, compared to the one minute and 15 seconds when they used a normal word. Researchers also found that being allowed to swear not only increased pain tolerance but also decreased the volunteers’ perception of pain.

The downside, though, is for this pain management technique to be most effective, you’d need to limit your casual, everyday swearing — even though swearing has a lot of other benefits.

Swearing ‘helps to reduce pain’ [BBC News via Greatist]


  • I said it last time ‘LH’ posted this article (not long ago) and I’ll say it again…

    If that’s the case, then Bogans must be in constant pain…! Horrible, terrible pain…

  • In Fry’s Planet Word which aired on ABC recently, Stephen Fry and Brian Blessed tested this theory with convincing results and great hilarity!

  • Try Singing instead – on how that research sounds doing anything noisy would take the pain away. But swearing no no no just leads to doing it all the time which is what is so wrong nowadays

  • I’m not sure that you’d need to limit casual every day swearing. I think you could just reserve certain swear words for moments when you’re in pain, or REALLY pissed off. And picking which words to reserve for special emphasis would of itself be quite entertaining.

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