Posted on Oct 12, 2010, 6 a.m.
Among women, sadness and anger may increase pain.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic and widespread pain disorder, and some previous studies have suggested that negative emotions increase pain associated with the condition. Henriet van middendorp, from Utrecht University (The Netherlands), and colleagues studied 62 women with fibromyalgia and 59 women without fibromyalgia, examining the effects of anger and sadness on clinical pain assessment, pain threshold, and pain tolerance. The team found that negative emotions prompted an increase in pain, with the increase at similar levels in those women with and without fibromyalgia. Writing that: “The experience of both anger and sadness amplifies pain in women with and without fibromyalgia,” the researchers conclude that: “The occurrence of anger and sadness appears to be a general risk factor for pain amplification.”
Henriet van middendorp, Mark A. Lumley, Johannes W. G. Jacobs, Johannes W. J. Bijlsma, Rinie Geenen. “The effects of anger and sadness on clinical pain reports and experimentally-induced pain thresholds in women with and without fibromyalgia.” Arthritis Care & Research, Volume 62, Issue 10, October 2010.