Navigation Links
Research explores links between physical and emotional pain relief

Though we all desire relief -- from stress, work, or pain -- little is known about the specific emotions underlying relief. New research from the Association for Psychological Science explores the psychological mechanisms associated with relief that occurs after the removal of pain, also known as pain offset relief.

This new research shows that healthy individuals and individuals with a history of self-harm display similar levels of relief when pain is removed, which suggests that pain offset relief may be a natural mechanism that helps us to regulate our emotions.

Feeling Worse to Feel Better: Pain-Offset Relief Simultaneously Stimulates Positive Affect and Reduces Negative Affect
Joseph Franklin, Kent Lee, Eleanor Hanna, and Mitchell Prinstein

Research shows that feeling pain leads to negative emotions, but less is known about the relief that occurs when pain is removed. Is pain offset associated with positive emotions, or simply the alleviation of negative emotions?

Franklin and colleagues used recording electrodes to measure participants' negative emotions (eyeblink startle response) and positive emotions (muscle activity behind the ear) in response to loud noises; sometimes the loud noise was presented alone and other times it was presented 3.5, 6, or 14 seconds after receiving a low- or high-intensity shock.

Participants showed increased positive emotions and decreased negative emotions after pain offset. The greatest increases in positive emotion tended to occur soon after high-intensity shocks, whereas the greatest decreases in negative emotions tended to occur soon after low-intensity shocks.

These findings shed light on the emotional nature of pain offset relief, and could provide insight into why some people seek relief through self-injurious behavior.

Published in Psychological Science

The Nature of Pain Offset Relief in Nonsuicidal Self-Injury: A Laboratory Study
Joseph C. Franklin, Megan E. Puzia, Kent M. Lee, Grace E. Lee, Eleanor K. Hanna, Victoria L. Spring, and Mitchell J. Prinstein

In this study, the researchers examined whether the emotional relief that comes with physical pain removal might be a potential mechanism that could help to explain why some people engage in self-harm behaviors.

Participants with or without a history of self-harm were assessed for emotion dysregulation and reactivity, self-injurious behavior, and for psychiatric disorders. Using a similar recording electrode procedure as in the first study, Franklin and colleagues were able to measure positive and negative emotions in response to loud noises, either alone or after receiving a painful shock.

Surprisingly, healthy individuals displayed pain offset relief levels that were comparable to those of individuals with a history of self-harm, and there was no correlation between pain offset relief and self-harm frequency.

These results do not support the hypothesis that heightened pain offset relief is a risk factor for future self-injury. Instead, Franklin and colleagues speculate that the biggest risk factors for nonsuicidal self-injury may concern how some people overcome the instinctive barriers that keep most people from inflicting self-harm.

Published in Clinical Psychological Science


Contact: Anna Mikulak
Association for Psychological Science

Related medicine news :

1. Multiple sclerosis research: The thalamus moves into the spotlight
2. Dr. Roger D. Weiss earns Hazeldens Dan Anderson Research Award
3. Patient Wishes Should Guide End-of-Life Care, Researchers Say
4. Scripps Research study underlines potential of new technology to diagnose disease
5. Researchers new method may sharpen microscopic images
6. New web portal on health research in Europe
7. Researchers tackle physician challenge of correctly ordering laboratory tests
8. GW researcher studies the dangerous effects of cocaine on HIV patients
9. LA BioMed researcher receives highest honor in field
10. Nouvelle Research, Inc. studies show chronic inflammation reduction through NRF2 Upregulation and NF-kB Downregulation, Cur-OST® Supplements Positively Impact Health
11. Moffitt Cancer Center researchers study use of dasatinib for patients with high-risk MDS
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment ... also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , ... Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , ... our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published ... unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable ... less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that ... chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent ... special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... EB Medicine presented its first-ever ... Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards honor the outstanding work ... Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With this award, we recognize ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Consumers have taken ... regulators/payers have placed more emphasis on patient outcomes. ... support programs in the pharmaceutical industry have evolved ... Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are focusing on becoming more ... providing products and services that improve health. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT) (NASDAQ: ... novel therapeutics for the treatment of grievous blood-based ... closing of its previously announced underwritten public offering ... public offering price of $18.75 per share. All ... by GBT. GBT estimates net proceeds from the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dublin - ... " Global Markets for Spectroscopy Equipment" report ... This report focuses on the global market of ... applications in various applications. The report deals with spectroscopy ... industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and beverage, and environmental ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: