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Chronic Pain Can Affect Marriage Relationships

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It’s no surprise that pain can increase stress in one’s life. What may be less obvious is that pain can adversely affect marriage. The results of new research show that the body has influence over the mind and the emotions, much like the mind has influence over the body. The research observed the presence of pain to have an impact on the degree of depression and marital satisfaction felt by people who have a condition causing chronic pain.

The research project was reported in The Journal of Pain, published by the American Pain Society, www.ampainsoc.org. It was conducted by researchers from Wayne State University and the Norwegian Center for Addiction Research, using 78 subjects and their spouses. Of the test subjects, 58 percent were women. Subjects were chosen from a pool of people who responded to a Midwestern newspaper advertisement. Conditions of participation included the presence of a condition producing musculoskeletal pain. Most often pain was located in the low back and was due to osteoarthritis, disc problems or . The goal of the study was to measure the responses to negative spousal interaction in those experiencing pain, paying close attention to gender differences in responses.

Subjects and their spouses were interviewed for three hours. The discussion topic during the last 15 minutes was an unpleasant source of tension between the spouses, such as family finances. The most extreme reactions were observed in men when there was perceived disrespect or invalidation present in the spousal interactions, especially ignoring and hostile behavior. These measurements were compared to those of the women, who showed lesser degrees of negative reaction.

Similar studies conducted previously concluded that women in pain were more prone to an increase in sensitivity and depression subsequent to an emotionally stressful situation. However, the conclusions of this study showed men in pain have more sensitivity than women, shown by greater increases in negative reactions after negative emotional interactions. The article hypothesized the reason for this may be the presence of the traditional role of husband as provider. When pain interferes with the husband’s ability to fulfill that role to his satisfaction, he becomes more vulnerable to feelings of invalidation and disrespect. According to this study, pain relief and couples therapy with attention to the gender of the partner in pain is recommended.

There are effective and safe pharmaceutical pain relief options for those experiencing chronic pain, such as Nyloxin™, which goes directly into the blood stream to reduce inflammation and block pain. Nyloxin™ is one of those alternatives; it is a non-addictive, non-steroidal drug that does not alter cognitive functions. It is designed to treat moderate to severe pain. It works best over time and is safe to use every day. With Nyloxin™, there is hope for many who suffer from chronic pain.

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