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Ways To Improve Pain Threshold

As a chronic pain sufferer, you might think that you are stuck in a hopeless situation; believe it or not, that is not the case!

According to WebMD, many factors play into an individual's pain threshold. The most significant factors cited are the following:

1) Genetic variation: 
Each of us has a unique genetic makeup; no two people are alike. The five senses vary from person to person. The pain threshold follows the same rules as the rest of our being determined by genetic code.

2) Gender: 
Males seem to have higher levels of beta-endorphins than do females. As you might recall from prior blog posts, endorphins are naturally occurring pain killers.  If a male and female suffer exactly the same injury, this suggests that the female would feel more pain.  Interestingly, the female pain threshold seems to increase near the time of childbirth.

3) Fluctuation of pain threshold:
It appears pain threshold and stress levels are intricately linked. Life events such as the death of a family member or friend, job loss, can lower the pain threshold.  Chronic stress seems to make the problem even worse.

So....what to do???

After reading this post so far, you might think that you can't do anything about improving your pain threshold. After all, no one can change their genetic makeup or gender (at least not by the hand of nature!). We really can't control these very stressful life events either...

What you can control is how you respond to the stress of life, and there are many methods to help you achieve that goal.  Aside from taking medications, it is possible to use many holistic approaches.  
Mediation is an excellent example of this.  The mind-body connection is real, however intricate. Most people have the ability to meditate; it does not require any physical stamina. Even if you have a very disabling chronic pain condition it is still possible to meditate. If you want to take this a step further,
yoga and tai chi add the exercise element to the meditative benefits of meditation.   Learning hypnosis for self-use or cognitive therapy may also be of help.

Last but not least, you need to be your own advocate!  When you visit your doctor or dentist let them know that you seem to be extra sensitive to pain so that they can plan accordingly to make surgeries and medical procedures less painful for you.

Realistically, this might not mean that you live disease-free or pain-free for the rest of your life.  Keep in mind that the efforts you put forth are worth it, and that the improvements you feel will make a difference in your quality of life.

Sources: WebMD; Everyday Pain Management Ideas;Wikimedia


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