LivingWatching the needle reduces injection pain

Watching the needle reduces injection pain

inyeccionA new study published in the journalPsychological Sciencesuggests thatintimate less pain during an injection if we observe how the needle enters your skin, instead of looking away.

Research, carried out by scientists from University College London (United Kingdom) and the University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy), reveals that looking at our body can mitigate the sensation of pain. In their experiments with 18 participants, the researchers applieda heat probe in the left hand of each subject,that gradually increased the temperature until the sensation of pain began. The researchers used a set of mirrors tomanipulate what the volunteers saw during the experiment. In some cases they saw their hand reflected, and in others a block of wood. In this way, they verified that heVolunteers could tolerate about three degrees more heat when they looked at their handin the mirror.

In a second round of experiments, the scientists used concave and convex mirrors to show the largest or smallest hand. And they found that by increasing their size in the reflex, the participants tolerated higher levels of pain, whileif the hand looked smaller than its actual size, the pain threshold was lowered. The results suggest that the perception of pain is linked to the spatial map of the skin that our brain creates.

Patrick Haggard, professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and co-author of the work, concludes that“looking at the body is analgesic”, and that when a child or an adult goes to the doctor to have blood drawn, we should tell him to watch his arm while the needle is inserted to reduce the sensation of pain.


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