Screaming words such as 'ow' and 'ouch' can help you cope with pain better, scientists have found. Researchers at the National University of Singapore said that being vocal helps people tolerate pain longer as it can be a distraction. In a study 56 people were asked to put their hands in extremely cold water. They either said 'ow', heard a recording of themselves saying 'ow', heard a recording of another person saying 'ow', pressed a button or sat passively.
When participants used the word 'ow' they managed to stand the pain for almost 30 seconds, compared with 23 seconds when someone else said it, 'Daily Express' reported. Researchers said that it is not just the word 'ow' that can help but also other words like 'ouch' and the Italian version 'ahia'. All of those sounds are good for vocalising pain because they are simple noises where the 'mouth simply opens', researchers said.
"These results provide the first evidence that vocalising helps individuals cope with pain. Until now, the idea that vocalising is analgesic has never been tested," researchers said in the study published in the Journal of Pain. PTI