People respond to pain in different ways. While some people can tolerate pain effectively, others have less tolerance. It also depends a lot on the situation, and it is often observed that you are more likely to be sensitive to pain when you are stressed. On the other hand, when you are relaxed, your pain tolerance increases and makes it easier for your body to handle certain painful health conditions.
It is important to be sensitive to pain, and the aim is not to become insensitive to pain. The brain and the nerves interact during painful situations and this ensures that the right signals are sent to the brain regarding pain.
Understanding Pain Tolerance And Pain Threshold
If you are not feeling pain when you should be feeling, it indicates that something is not alright with the brain. Feeling pain triggers brain activity and keeps it alert against dangers. In this regard, you need some amount of sensitivity to pain.
On the other hand, being too sensitive can lead to a difficult situation, especially when you are suffering from some painful health condition. In this situation, you can increase pain tolerance by using the methods given in this article.
In order to understand pain tolerance, you need to first understand the pain threshold. The minimum amount of pain that you can handle is usually called the pain threshold. In simple terms, this is the amount of pain that is enough for your brain to recognize that it is a painful situation.
On the other hand, the pain threshold is the maximum pain that you can tolerate. Say, for example, when some pressure is applied to your hand, you may notice the pain at some point.
This is the pain threshold level. At some point, when the pressure is increased, you may find it unbearable. This is the pain tolerance point that indicates the maximum amount of pain you can handle.
Simple ways to improve pain tolerance
Yoga and meditation
When yoga is combined with meditation, it can significantly improve your pain tolerance levels. The different postures you hold during yoga session will improve nerve response, and your body also gets enough strength to handle pain.
This is often combined with breathing exercises that calm the mind. In this way, your brain does not panic, and it remains calm during painful situations. This helps you to regulate the pain and process it depending on the situation in a proper manner.
Meditation is also a good technique to improve pain tolerance as such activities can improve grey matter in the brain and help it to handle pain in an effective manner.
If you are still new to yoga, go with a trainer and learn the basic techniques for a few weeks. Depending on your physical fitness, choose the right postures and practice them at home to improve pain tolerance and overall health.
It is believed that regular moderate aerobic activity can improve pain tolerance by a huge margin. Cycling was found to be one of the best ways to boost pain tolerance.
Your body will also gain enough strength in this manner, and it will boost your fitness levels. All these things can have a significant impact on your brain, and you will be able to manage pain better than before.
Reacting immediately to painful situations can have a significant impact on improving pain tolerance according to studies. You can vocalize the pain as soon as you notice it, and this will help you to tolerate the pain in a better way.
This may be due to the brain understanding the situation early enough, and it may prepare in advance to handle the painful situation. There is no harm in trying this technique, and it may work effectively for your situation.
During this method, you will be trained to use breathing exercises and relaxation techniques to understand the response to pain and stress. This also includes mental exercises, and it can bring in awareness about the response to stress and pain. In this way, your brain gets the necessary training to effectively handle stress and pain in the long run.
Psychiatrists have used such techniques to reduce pain in several patients. In this method, people are asked to imagine the pain in a certain colored ball, and it is then submerged into another shade of cooler color.
Yet another technique is to imagine a pleasant situation when you are experiencing pain. This can reduce stress, and your brain will react differently to pain in this manner. With proper training, you can use this technique effectively to handle pain.
Factors that impact pain tolerance
There are several factors that influence pain tolerance, and different people react to pain in different ways. It all depends on how your brain communicates with your body through the nerves in response to pain.
- You will be surprised to know that elderly people have better pain threshold levels when compared to young adults. The reason may be due to the brain not getting the signals at the right time to recognize the pain.
- It is also widely accepted that women have better tolerance for pain when compared to men. This may be due to genetic factors that have influenced them to handle childbirth and other situations since ages.
- Suffering from chronic illness can also influence the way you respond to pain. While some people develop better tolerance, others may become sensitive to pain when they suffer from chronic illness for a long duration.
- When you are suffering from stress or depression, you will have less tolerance for pain. People suffering from mental disorders often have low thresholds as well as low tolerance for pain.
- Social isolation can significantly lower your pain tolerance levels, and this is commonly seen in elderly people who are living alone without a family.
- Your past experience regarding pain can also have an impact on your overall pain tolerance. If you are regularly exposed to harsh conditions physically, you may develop better pain tolerance and threshold levels in the long run.