A study has shown that perceived injustice can have an impact on our health, and the emotional and physical pain we feel. The research suggests that a sense of injustice affects our thoughts and, when combined with an injury or illness, can lead people to think more about their pain, resulting in further physical and emotional distress.

Research into the link between injustice and pain

The study, led by Joanna Lang McParland from Glasgow Caledonian University, indicates that the unfairness felt does not necessarily need to be linked to the injury itself – a feeling of unfairness about any aspect of one’s life can have a negative impact on the experience of pain.

A group of students were interviewed about something unfair that had happened to them, after which they, and another group who had not been interviewed about past injustices, were asked to put their hand in cold water until it became too painful. Both groups were asked to rate how much pain they felt and how much anxiety they felt; those who had been interviewed about their past unfair treatment reported feeling more pain and more anxiety.

“We all know, and have known for some time, that our emotional state has an impact on our physical health, but a study like this that links how people treat us – or at least how we perceive them to treat us – and our physical sensations, has major implications,” says David Stothard, managing director MAPS Medical Reporting.

The research also highlights the importance of how we treat the victim of an injury: the increased pain isn’t only a result of a feeling of injustice around the injury itself, the way that family members, lawyers, and medical professionals treat you will all have an impact.

“At MAPS we regularly deal first hand with the victims of injury, and understand the role that we – as a provider of medical reports, rehabilitation and treatment services – play in supporting the injured person’s recovery,” continued David.

“Getting the right evidence quickly plays a key role in getting defendants to admit liability for injuries quickly. In doing so, vital funds become unlocked and rehabilitation can start at an early stage.

“This research poses interesting questions about how personal injury claims can help improve people’s outcomes, not just by covering their financial losses and funding treatment, but also by tapping into injured clients’ sense of standing up to injustice to reduce their experience of pain.”

MAPS Medical Reporting provides fast access to reputable experts and high quality, specialist medical reports to provide its customers with robust medical evidence to expedite the claims process. Contact us to find out more about how we can support you.

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