I stubbed my toe! Dang!
I barked my shin! Darn!
I got run over by a bus! Dagg-nabbit!
But if I cuss a little, I’ll feel better.
So says a study from “The Journal of Pain.”
BTW, I definitely do not have a subscription to that journal. (You have to pay for it.)
An article at medicalnewstoday.com says that experiments show cursing can provide short-term pain relief.
That is, if you don’t normally curse a lot.
The study, from the School of Psychology at the University of Keele in England, expanded on findings from a study done in 2009 that showed that cursing eases pain.
In the earlier study, it was found that people who endured an “ice-cold water challenge” were able to withstand
Swearing actually helps alleviate pain.
the pain longer if they repeatedly said swear words than people who underwent the challenge while saying “neutral words.” (what’s a “neutral word” – “vanilla?”)
And what does an “ice-cold water challenge” involve? I shudder to think.
In the newer study researchers discovered that subjects who admitted to using swear-words frequently every day (at a maximum rate of 60 per day, which researchers called a “constant curser”), derived no greater benefit from swearing during the ice-water challenge than from uttering neutral words.
But people who normally only swore just a few times a day were able to endure the ice-cold water challenge for twice as long when they repeated swear-words than when they used the neutral words.
Twice as long? Now that is pretty dad-gummed longer.
The researchers said swearing helps people withstand pain because of the emotional response it produces in the swearer. The emotions – aggression or anger – lead to “stress-induced analgesia,” a natural form of pain relief that results from the surge in adrenaline that goes with the body's natural “fight or flight" response to stress.
However, people who curse a lot become “habituated.” The emotional response becomes weaker with use, resulting in a weaker effect as pain relief.
Used in moderation, one researcher explained, swearing can be a useful alternative pain-reliever in situations where someone can't easily get medical care or pain-relieving medicine.
As a personal injury attorney, I often have clients who have undergone pain, or are even still enduring it. I do my best to help them legally, but I can’t help them physically.
Of course, many people don’t ever want to say a dirty word. But if it can ease your pain without your feeling it to be offensive, I say, “Let ’er rip!”
Gee whiz! I hope this is helpful.