DAMN IT, I Feel Better Already!
Scientists from Keele University found that letting forth a volley of foul language can have a powerful painkilling effect, especially for people who do not normally use expletives.
To test the theory, student volunteers placed their hands in a bucket of ice cold water while swearing repeatedly.
They then repeated the exercise but, instead of swearing, used a harmless phrase instead.
Researchers found that the students were able to keep their hands submerged in the icy water for longer when repeating the swear word - establishing a link between swearing and an increase in pain tolerance.
They also found that the pain-numbing effect was four times more likely to work in the volunteers who did not normally use bad language.
The team believes the pain-lessening effect occurs because swearing triggers the ''fight or flight'' response.
The accelerated heart rates of the students repeating the swear word may indicate an increase in aggression, in a classic fight or flight response of ''downplaying feebleness in favour of a more pain-tolerant machismo''.
The research proves that swearing triggers not only an emotional response, but a physical one too, which may explain why the centuries-old practice of cursing developed and why it still persists today.