Episode 20: How To Cope With Pain

This is Episode 20 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Download here.

What can psychology teach us about dealing with pain? Our presenter Ginny Smith learns that swearing can have a pain-reducing effect, and puts the theory to the test with an experiment on editor Matthew Warren. Ginny also hears about how virtual reality could provide a welcome distraction to patients suffering from chronic pain.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Dr Richard Stephens, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Keele University, and Dr Sam Hughes, Research Fellow in pain neuroimaging at King’s College London.

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Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith, with additional content from Matthew Warren and Sana Suri. Mixing and editing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

Background reading for this episode:

Managing limb pain using virtual reality: a systematic review of clinical and experimental studies, a paper by Priscilla G Wittkopf and colleagues, is free to access thanks to our sponsors Routledge Psychology.

Research mentioned in this episode includes:

Both Research Digest and The Psychologist have plenty of posts on pain in the archives, including:

Encouraging self-compassion may help people with chronic pain lead more active, happier lives

Super altruists (who’ve donated a kidney to a stranger) show heightened empathic brain activity when witnessing strangers in pain

Women who practice submissive BDSM displayed reduced empathy and an atypical neural response to other people’s pain

What’s different about the brains of the minority of us who feel other people’s physical pain?

Watching someone suffer extreme pain has a lasting effect on the brain

Does it matter whether or not pain medication is branded?

Pain at Christmas: Ella Rhodes reports from the British Neuroscience Association’s Christmas symposium

5 minutes with… Dr Harbinder Sandhu: A large trial aims to help people with chronic pain taper their opioid use

The pain of youth: Line Caes and Abbie Jordan call for creativity in research design with adolescents living with chronic health conditions

Big Picture: Portraits of pain: Measuring pain with drawings

Pain – the backdrop of our lives: Ella Rhodes reports from a conference at UCL

Past PsychCrunch episodes:

Episode one: Dating and Attraction
Episode two: Breaking Bad Habits
Episode three: How to Win an Argument
Episode four: The Psychology of Gift Giving
Episode five: How To Learn a New Language
Episode six: How To Be Sarcastic 😉
Episode seven: Use Psychology To Compete Like an Olympian.
Episode eight: Can We Trust Psychological Studies?
Episode nine: How To Get The Best From Your Team
Episode ten: How To Stop Procrastinating
Episode eleven: How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Episode twelve: How To Be Funnier
Episode thirteen: How to Study and Learn More Effectively
Episode fourteen: Psychological Tricks To Make Your Cooking Taste Better
Episode fifteen: Is Mindfulness A Panacea Or Overhyped And Potentially Problematic?
Bonus episode (sixteen): What’s It Like To Have No Mind’s Eye?
Episode seventeen: How To Make Running Less Painful And More Fun
Episode eighteen: How To Boost Your Creativity
Episode nineteen: Should We Worry About Screen Time?

PsychCrunch is sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

PsychCrunch Banner April 16

Routledge interviewed PsychCrunch presenter Christian Jarrett about the aims of the podcast and engaging with the public about psychology research.

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