We asked Debra Woolfson to share some of the strange things she has learned in the areas of Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence. She replied with the following:
As a lawyer specialising in helping those that have suffered pain through trauma, I have seen the disabling impact that severe pain can have.
Here are just a few of the facts that I found surprising.
- Redheads are more sensitive to pain
A 2009 American dental study found that people with red hair, ( and pale skin), were more likely to be afraid of going to the dentist
An explanation for this lies in a genetic variant that they have at chromosome 16, which makes them more resistant to certain anaesthetics. Dentists should consider giving more anaesthetic to redheads to prevent a painful experience putting the patient off from going to get dental treatment.
2. Swearing is a painkiller
Swearing, which is a common response to injury, appears to increase the ability to tolerate pain
A Keele University study found that students could keep their hand in a bucket of icy water longer when they swore
The theory is that, as swearing is an aggressive act, it activates the fight-or-flight response, allowing greater pain resistance
3. Financial stress causes pain
After researchers noticed that in times of economic insecurity complaints of pain increased, multiple studies showed that stress kicked in when people feared an insecure future. As anxiety produces similar messages within the body to those that result in pain, financial stress can lead to more pain.
4. Men have a higher pain threshold than women
Whilst surprising, the theory is that as women have more pain receptors in their skin that increase their exposure to pain, they need more painkillers to cope with a particular type of pain than men do.
5. Brain freeze is real
The medical term for brain freeze is “sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia”!
The pain receptors in the mouth signal to the brain but as the same nerves are also in the forehead the brain mixes up the location of the pain and so you get a headache, or brain freeze.
Understanding pain is still something that is being worked on by scientists, but there are real breakthroughs, (that illustrate that pain has emotional as well as physical elements), can help all of us , be that with daily aches and pains, or with the pain that results from a serious accident that can be life changing.
Debra Woolfson is a senior lawyer specialising in Clinical Negligence and serious injury claims at Harold Stock & Co. If you wish to discuss a claim with her please contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0330 400 4040