Skip to main content

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:; Flickr


Popular posts from this blog

Living with Chronic pain hits the big screen!

Been to the movies lately?  Jennifer Aniston is on the big screen in a recent release titled "Cake."
Her character, Claire is a victim of chronic pain...she belongs to a support group, where all of the members are coming to terms with the suicide of one of their members.  Of course, she also takes pain medication and addiction is another of her problems...and of course there's more!

I guess I am writing this post just to bring readers' attention to the fact that Hollywood has become aware of the crisis that is chronic pain.  This movie is a testament to that. People that don't have to live with this kind of pain don't fully understand the whole story.  Maybe this movie will shed some light on the issues.

Here is the official trailer for the movie:

Sources: prweb;;YouTube

Herpes As A Helper?

If you've ever had shingles, or known anyone that has experienced it, you probably know that chronic pain can persist following the initial attack (post herpetic neuralgia).  This is because the herpes virus seems to have an affinity for nerve cells.  And while it's not fun to have shingles or post herpetic neuralgia, the herpes virus may be a key in future development of delivery systems for pain management treatments.

Here's the deal--since Herpes simplex has an affinity for nerve cells, researchers are looking a genetically modified, safer version of the virus to deliver genetic material to damaged nerves.  In simple terms, once the genetic material reaches these nerve cells, it will hopefully encode these nerves to ultimately inhibit pain signals.  Animal studies and clinical trials in cancer patients have been encouraging thus far.

This is one of those developments that makes me believe that there is hope for those in chronic pain. Along with so many other exciting d…

The Knee Bone's Connected To The Leg Bone....

Two recent studies have brought a not-so-novel concept into the limelight-the concept being that people who present with knee pain often develop pain in other parts of their bodies.  These studies, known as the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) and the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), were assessed by a Clinical Epidemiology Team as Boston University School of Medicine in an effort to find preventive strategies to combat this trend.

The authors suggest that knee pain may cause individuals to alter their gait in an effort to compensate for their discomfort. In doing so, the alignment of other body joints is altered, and this may be the cause of secondary joint pain, especially hips and ankles. The authors go on to say that the pain in these secondary sites is not necessarily osteoarthritis--perhaps bursitis or some other injury.

Osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear in the joints.  We may not be able to completely eliminate osteoarthritis from occurring, but some common se…