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Saying ‘ouch’ can actually make you feel better when in pain

Crying out when we get hurt is a natural and unstoppable instinct.

Now scientists think they have found the reason for our yelps – it helps us withstand the pain.

The effort of shouting the word ‘ow’ interferes with pain messages travelling to the brain, a new study suggests.

But the new research indicates that we may actually do so to distract ourselves from the feeling of pain.

The scientists, whose study is published in the Journal of Pain, say that expressions of pain are shared across language barriers.

‘Ow’ or ‘ouch’ are shouted in English, South Africans yell ‘eina’, Italians say ‘ahia’ and Chinese ‘aiyo’.

The researchers, from the departments of psychology and neurobiology at the National University of Singapore, wrote: ‘Shared among these is a sound during which the mouth simply opens, the tongue lies flat and the lips remain unrounded.

‘It is a simple sound that requires little articulatory control, while maximising volume output.

Exactly how the process works is not clear, but they think the automatic messages travelling to the vocal part of the brain interfere with the pain messages.

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