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For Back Pain, Skip the Opioids and Try Yoga

Doctors' group recommends meditation, acupuncture or basically anything else first

(Newser) - If you're tempted to pop a painkiller every time you feel a twinge coursing down your back, there's a new set of guidelines you may want to peruse first. Per NBC News and CBS News , prescription meds for lower back pain should be your go-to only when you'... More »

The Longer You Can Do This, the More Friends You May Have

The connection between friends and pain tolerance is explored

(Newser) - Having a healthy network of friends can do you a lot of good , but can it also save you from a lot of pain? Researchers reporting in the journal Scientific Reports seem to think so. They say that one's ability to tolerate pain can actually predict the size of... More »

Overdose Drug Helps Woman Feel Pain for First Time

And that could actually be great news for people with chronic pain

(Newser) - A woman who was born without the ability to feel pain was hurt for the first time in 39 years when researchers burned her with a laser, New Scientist reports. "I think she quite enjoyed the experiment," researcher John Wood says. But that's not just good news... More »

Study: Most Sleepwalkers Don't Feel Pain

Not even when they jump out a third-story window, apparently

(Newser) - Nearly 80% of people who've injured themselves while sleepwalking felt no pain and didn't even wake up, according to a new study published this month in Sleep. And we're not talking about a stubbed toe or bumped elbow, either. One study subject jumped out a third-floor window—... More »

Babies Feel Pain Same as Adults Do

They might even be more sensitive to it, study says

(Newser) - Researchers say their new study confirms what babies have been trying to tell us all along: Of course, they feel pain. In fact, they may be more sensitive to it than adults, according to a post at Science Daily . Oxford scientists used MRI scans to study the brains of newborns... More »

China Hospital Helps Guys Feel Pain of Childbirth

'Labor simulator' delivers the agony

(Newser) - A hospital in China is giving men a unique way to share the experience of childbirth—specifically, the pain of childbirth—with women. Reuters reports that Aima maternity hospital offers sessions in which guys can have pads attached to their abdomen that deliver electric shocks in gradually increasing intensity over... More »

My Dad Was Impervious to Pain—and It Killed Him

Will Boast's father taught him to deny pain, but is that a good thing?

(Newser) - By all accounts, death by perforated ulcer is a horrible thing: Blood, bile, and partly digested food seep into the abdominal cavity and fill you with agony. But Will Boast's father took that agony to work one day and only succumbed, finally, when driving home along an Iowa road.... More »

Torture Changes the Way You Feel Pain Forever

Including psychological torture

(Newser) - Torture doesn't just hurt you once, it keeps on hurting you forever, a new study in the European Journal of Pain suggests. Researchers examined 104 Israeli soldiers who fought in the 1973 war between Syria and Egypt, 60 of whom had been taken captive and tortured, gauging their reaction... More »

Math Can Hurt You—Physically

Just thinking about it hurts, say researchers

(Newser) - Thanks to Barbie, we've long known that math class is tough. But now scientists say just the thought of math can be downright painful, reports Stuff . Researchers used MRIs to measure subjects' brain activity in a variety of hypothetical situations, including "walking to math class" and "receiving... More »

How Violent Video Games Can Be Good for You

Study suggests they can boost your pain tolerance

(Newser) - Next time you think you're going to take a bullet in real life, do yourself a favor and take some on your X-Box first. A new study suggests that playing violent first-person shooters actually increases your pain tolerance, the Daily Mail reports. Researchers at Keele University had 40 subjects... More »

Scientists Finally Figure Out 'Brain Freeze'

Which could spell good news for migraine sufferers

(Newser) - Why must a shooting pain so often accompany a delicious bite of ice cream? In their work to learn more about migraines, scientists may have figured it out, LiveScience reports. Using the previously established findings that migraine-sufferers have the double whammy of more frequent brain freeze, the researchers decided to... More »

Painkillers Could Ease Social Rejection

Physical, social hurt function similarly: researchers

(Newser) - Someday, painkillers might battle more than just physical pain. The medications could be used to fight the pain of social rejection, too, researchers say. That's because the brain handles physical pain and the hurt of rejection similarly, a study finds. Scientists picked up on the connection while looking at... More »

In Pain? Look at a Picture of Your Lover

Study shows photos can help ease discomfort

(Newser) - In pain? Don’t reach for the Tylenol—reach for the picture of your significant other. Researchers at Stanford University found that looking at the image of a romantic partner reduces pain by between 36% and 44%--or about as much as narcotics like cocaine, the Daily Mail reports. Even “... More »

Baby's Smile May Be Misleading

Infants' facial expressions don't tell all: study

(Newser) - A spoonful of sugar may not help the medicine go down after all. The theory that a dose of sucrose wards off pain for babies during medical procedures is being challenged by new research from a team of British doctors, who found that the infants still manifested a pain response... More »

Your Brain Can't Tell Which Tooth Aches

Scientists are trying to get a handle on mouth pain

(Newser) - A new study confirms what a lot of dentists already know: patients are often way off when they try to pinpoint a toothache. In fact, the brain can't seem to differentiate whether the pain is coming from the top or bottom row, Wired reports. It can pinpoint discomfort precisely in... More »

Removing a Bandage Quickly Does Hurt Less

Adhesive causes more pain for men than for women

(Newser) - Australian scientists have settled a long-running debate by confirming a popular assumption: It does, in fact, hurt less to remove an adhesive bandage quickly than to do so gradually. The researchers tested the pain levels of medical students who ripped off Band-Aids at different speeds and had them rate the... More »

Swearing Reduces Pain

Coarse words help us deal with painful stimuli

(Newser) - If your reaction to slamming your finger in a door is to curse the air blue, you might be onto something: A new study shows that swearing relieves pain. Intrigued by the fact that people seem to swear in painful situations, UK researchers put the idea to the test: they... More »

Touch of Money Can Help You Resist Pain

(Newser) - The feel of green can make people more resistant to low-level pain, NPR reports. Building on earlier research about the psychological power of money, experts in China conducted a study asking subjects to dip their fingers in water heated to 122 degrees Fahrenheit; those who had counted money ahead of... More »

Swearing Cuts Pain, Dammit

Scientists suggest link to fight-or-flight response

(Newser) - Stubbed your toe? Let loose a torrent of profanity and you may actually feel better, a study suggests. Scientists had subjects stick their hands in ice water for as long as they could, once while cursing and again using only G-rated language. The researchers discovered that cursing subjects could keep... More »

No Wonder They're Crabby: Crabs Feel Pain

Laws should consider the suffering of crustaceans, scientist says

(Newser) - Before you drop another crab into a boiling pot of water, take note: Crabs feel pain. Scientists don’t fully understand pain in humans, but do now know that crustaceans respond to discomfort and keep a memory of it, LiveScience reports. Hermit crabs that were shocked fled their shells, “... More »

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