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Increased Stress--->>>Increased Pain

The results of a recent study certainly don't surprise me... I don't think they would surprise anyone.  Professors from Tel Aviv University and Canada's McGill University recently published their findings in the journal PAIN. This study focused on the effect of stress on pain.




The research team studied 29 healthy men. The subjects underwent a number of commonly accepted pain tests...then they were given a test known as MIST (Montreal Imaging Stress Task). The MIST test is a psychological trick, a mathematical test whose very purpose is to induce stress.  Following MIST, the commonly accepted pain tests were repeated.

The results indicated that the induced stress did not seem to affect pain thresholds or pain tolerance. The addition of stress to the scenario, did, however affect the intensity of pain and caused a decrease in pain inhibition capability.  Some variation was observed amongst the subjects-- i.e., the effect was more intense in those who more strongly react to stress.

"Stress is defined as a sense of uncontrollability and unpredictability, precisely like being stuck in traffic where you are helpless and have no control over the situation,"said Prof. Defrin. "Stress can have positive repercussions in a challenging work environment, for example, but overall it has primarily negative effects."

And now for the bottom line...even common stressors play a role in the way we experience pain.  It seems that it's worth the effort to reduce the stress in our lives for many reasons, including pain control. Maybe going to and from work on the back roads instead of the expressway is a place to start.  Maybe it's time to learn how to meditate...or take up a new hobby. It seems that even the little things in life can play a role in pain management!

Source: MedicalExpress.com; Flickr

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