It is widely believed that athletes have higher pain tolerances than the normal population. There’s no scientific proof confirming that belief. New research by the University of Heidelberg looked at multiple studies to either confirm or refute that widely held notion.
Their findings were published recently in the journal Pain. The researchers looked at multiple studies evaluating athlete’s pain tolerance or threshold compared to normal population. The studies were conducted in multiple countries and included individual sports, games sports and endurance sports.
When the studies were combined, athletes were found to have a pain tolerance significantly higher than the normal population. Athletes involved in endurance activities such as marathon runners showed a moderate pain tolerance that was consistent across the athletes.
Those involved in team sports such as soccer or basketball also had a higher pain tolerance than other athletes, but the results varied much more than endurance athletes.
With the study’s findings, clearly regular exercise is associated with a higher pain tolerance. What this shows may be applicable to patients dealing with pain, that regular exercise might be able to affect a person’s pain coping skills and leave them with a better pain tolerance.
This could have various applications for treatment including potentially the need for less pain medication. The authors of this study concluded that further research was needed to clarify a more exact relationship between physical activity and pain perception.
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The practice has multiple Arizona pain management clinics around the valley and takes all of the major medical insurances including Medicare, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, CIGNA, United health, Banner health and more. The practice has the best pain doctors in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Chandler, and more.
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