Even passive presence of romantic partner can reduce pain

Researchers have found that the passive presence of a romantic partner can reduce pain and that partner empathy may buffer affective distress during pain exposure.

The study, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Pain, confirmed the analgesic effects of social support — even without verbal or physical contact.

The research team assessed sensitivity to pressure pain in 48 heterosexual couples with each participant tested alone and in the passive presence of their partner.

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