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Posted on: 09-02-15
Severe psychological stress lowers ability to bear physical pain

Psychological stress describes what people feel when they are under mental, physical, or emotional pressure. Although it is normal to experience some psychological stress from time to time, people who experience high levels of psychological stress or who experience it repeatedly over a long period of time may develop health problems.

Stress can be caused both by daily responsibilities and routine events, as well as by more unusual events, such as a trauma or illness in oneself or a close family member. When people feel that they are unable to manage or control changes caused by cancer or normal life activities, they are in distress. A new study has found that high amount of psychological stress has harmful effect on the body's ability to modulate physical pain.

Prof. Ruth Defrin of Physical Therapy at TAU's said that the type of stress and magnitude of its appraisal actually determines its interaction with the pain system, so if the perceived stress was high, the pain modulation capabilities would be more dysfunctional. Prof. Defrin further added that previous studies have always suggested that chronic stress was far more damaging than acute stress, as it not only dysfunction pain modulation capabilities but also leads to chronic pain and systemic illness.

The researcher concluded and advised to do everything in a controlled power and adopt relaxation and stress reduction techniques as well as therapies to reduce the amount of stress in life. The study is published in the journal PAIN.

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