Pain threshold: what is it, why does all people have it different?
You probably know that everyone suffers pain in different ways: someone at the thought of an injection starts to tremble, and another tooth is removed without anesthesia, and he does not feel anything. They just have a different pain threshold: low – in the first character and high – in the second.
Pain threshold – what is it?
The pain canopy is the degree of impact at which we feel the first sensation of pain.
If you continue the painful effect, then the moment will come when the pain becomes unbearable. After that, a person may lose consciousness or even die. This level of pain is called the amount of pain tolerance, and it also has its own.
Well, the difference between the pain threshold and the amount of pain tolerance, that is, the painful “reserve” of the body, its ability to suffer, was called the pain tolerance interval.
Is the pain threshold measured?
It would seem impossible to do this: what is the criterion for the sensation of pain? The volume of the cry, tears, gnashing of teeth?
However, it is quite possible to measure the pain threshold, and for this purpose there is even a device — an algesimeter (algos in Greek — pain). It is based on the action of various stimuli: mechanical, thermal, electric charge. True, in medical practice it is not used, it is mainly needed for scientific research.
What determines the pain threshold and can it be raised?
First of all, the pain threshold is determined by the peculiarities of human physiology, more precisely, the sensitivity of nociceptors – pain receptors.
However, under the action of various causes, the threshold of pain can either increase or decrease.
Sensitivity to pain increases (the threshold decreases) with severe fatigue, illness, with a depressive state. Conversely, when you are under strong positive emotions, the pain threshold rises.
Purposefully raise it, too, is possible. You need to constantly train your body, exposing it to painful influences.
Four nociceptive types
Although pain is a subjective sensation and one feels it all in one’s own way, one can find common signs. So, in sensitivity of nociceptorsidentified four types of people.
People with a low pain threshold and a short tolerance interval cannot tolerate even the smallest pain. Any scratch becomes a reason for the flow of tears, but if they are to undergo medical manipulation, they panic a few days before going to the doctor. And they do not pretend and flirt – they really scary and hurt. An exit for such people will be complete anesthesia, wherever possible.
Owners of a low pain threshold, but of a large interval, feel even a slight pain, but can cope with themselves and suffer it. It is very important for them to tune in psychologically, to prepare in advance for what will be painful.
Those who have a high pain threshold, but the tolerance interval is small, as if they do not feel pain at all. They calmly endure medical manipulations, but at a certain moment, with an increase in pain, when the threshold is passed, they simply break down: cry, hysterics, even fainting – you can expect everything from them. An exit for people of this type will be a sedation. If possible, they should use pain relief.
Favorite patients of doctors, with a high threshold of pain and a large interval, can safely endure quite a strong pain without screams, hysteria and even without anesthesia. If you belong to these lucky ones, then remember that other people may be completely different from you. They can suffer and suffer from pain, and this should be treated with understanding.