KEELE, England, April 21 (UPI) -- Those who swear frequently may be advised to cut back, because British researchers suggest swearing helps those in pain, but only if they swear infrequently.
Dr. Richard Stephens and Claudia Umland of Keele University in England said their previous research found swearing can reduce the feeling of pain.
Their current study asked 71 participants ages 18-46 to complete a questionnaire that assessed swearing frequency. Pain tolerance was assessed by how long participants could keep their hands in icy water.
The study found the more often people swear in daily life, the less extra time they were able to hold their hand in icy water when swearing -- compared with when not swearing.
"The important message from this latest study is interesting because, while saying that swearing as a response to pain might be beneficial, there is evidence that if you swear too often in everyday situations the power of swearing won't be there when you really might need it," Stephens said in a statement.
"Our research suggests that we should be tolerant of people who swear while experiencing acute pain."
The findings are scheduled to be presented in the British Psychological Society's annual conference in Glasgow, Scotland.