In Pain? Sometimes You’ve Just Got to Let It Out

Swear jar with coins in on a white backgroundI understand if you want to censor yourself. The kids are around, maybe god is watching, or expletives don’t feel right coming out of your mouth.

But “f” that. When it comes to pain, digging out swear words and letting them fly can help. At least, that’s what a new study is saying.


Recent research published in Frontiers in Psychology is showing that when people belt out swearwords, their pain tolerance skyrockets. The study also showed that PG-rated alternatives offer no help whatsoever.

Replacing the z’s in “fuzz” with a “ck” can make all the difference in the world.

To arrive at the results, researchers had 92 volunteers put their hands in an ice bath. To assess pain threshold, they tracked how long it took for pain to set in. To gauge tolerance, they monitored how long each participant could keep their hands submerged.

Each participant did the experiment four times. In random order, they were told to either belt out real swear words or fake ones. When real expletives were uttered, pain tolerance went up by 33%. There was no relief when “fouch” was the word of choice.


If you’re dealing with chronic pain, of course, walking around muttering swear words is not an option. Researchers looked at language’s effect on acute pain, like stubbing a toe or banging a funny bone.

To help you handle chronic joint pain, your word choice is likely outweighed by other factors. Eating food that can fight inflammation, trying to include more activity, and stretching can all help with pain management.

Using swear words to help dull the pain of a shocking bump or bang can lessen its effect on your day. The release can lead to an emotional response while also helping to dull the impact of pain. Please keep it in your arsenal and only use it when necessary.

Author Bio

Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine (Homoeopathy), and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.