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Do words hurt?
Date:3/30/2010

hose regions. Neither for neutrally nor for positively connotated words comparable activity patterns could be examined.

Can words intensify chronic pain?

"These findings show that words alone are capable of activating our pain matrix", underlines Prof. Weiss. To save painful experiences is of biological advantage since it allows us to avoid painful situations in the future which might be dangerous for our lives. "However, our results suggest as well that verbal stimuli have a more important meaning than we have thought so far." For the Jena psychologist the question remains open which role the verbal confrontation with pain plays for chronic pain patients. "They tend to speak a lot about their experiencing of pain to their physician or physiotherapist", Maria Richter says. It is possible that those conversations intensify the activity of the pain matrix in the brain and therefore intensify the pain experience. This is what the Jena psychologists want to clarify in another study.

And so far it won't do any harm not to talk too much about pain. Maybe then the next injection will be only half as painful.


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Contact: Professor Dr. Thomas Weiss
thomas.weiss@uni-jena.de
49-364-194-5143
Friedrich-Schiller-Universitt Jena
Source:Eurekalert  

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