Experiencing pain is an inevitable part of our lives. Everyone has at least once suffered from an excruciating headache, piercing toothache,or unbearable muscle soreness. However, have you ever wondered why the patient in front of you at the dentist doesn’t need any numbing agent before the drilling whereas you are covered with cold sweat from just the mere sound of the drill? Or has it ever occurred to you why your friend who just twisted his ankle claims that it didn’t hurt as badly as other people describe it? In this article, we answer the question of whether or not it is possible for people to feel pain differently.
What’s important is to understand that there is a difference between the terms “pain tolerance” and “pain threshold”. These two aren’t synonyms. “Pain tolerance” defines how much pain a person can stand without breaking (vomiting, fainting, etc.). In other words, it describes the “level of acceptance” of pain. On the other hand, “pain threshold” defines the level at which our bodies feel a stimulus as being painful. What you should keep in mind is the fact that two people exposed to the same stimuli will have a different pain tolerance and pain threshold. For example, let’s think about someone who has never experienced much pain but has just gotten into a major accident. Their pain will be different than the pain of someone who’s been suffering from chronic pain. Our pain management doctor in Pembroke Pines explains that those patients who experience pain on a regular basis have a higher pain tolerance, yet a lower pain threshold because they process pain fast. To sum up, someone with a low tolerance can have a high threshold and vice versa. Those levels may also change with time.
There are many factors that affect pain tolerance, such as: emotions (anxiety, depression), lifestyle (obesity and smoking contribute to having more pain), and biology (chronic diseases), but let’s not forget about the role of the brain in the process of feeling pain. In our previous article, we mentioned that the brain plays a major role in determining whether a particular sensation is painful or not. It’s important to remember that when tissue gets damaged, nerve endings send a signal to the brain which then evaluates this information. This process activates the areas of the brain responsible for memories, and stored knowledge. Based on that, since we all are individuals with different life experiences, our bodies will modulate the pain differently.
As you have just found out from this article, pain sensation differs from person to person, but controlling it is a crucial part of fast healing. For this reason, you should discuss pain management options with your physician prior to your surgery. If you are looking for the best pain management doctor in Pembroke Pines, you don’t have to search anymore, you just found him! Talk to our Medical Director – Luis Escobar, MD to learn about the most effective treatment for you. Book an appointment with our friendly staff today and visit our website to find out more about the services we provide.