Every day there are millions of people that suffer from chronic pain. Whether they suffer from fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis or neuropathy, the pain is constant and usually unbearable.
As debilitating and excruciating as chronic pain is, too many times people who suffering are treated subjectively when they describe the level of their pain. Pain tolerance and threshold tends to vary from person to person depending on the interactions between someone’s nerves and brain.
When you feel pain, you’re feeling it because nerves are sending signals to your brain through the spine. In turn, your brain interprets that signal as a sign of pain, which sets off the protective reflexes in your body. As an example, if you accidently touch a hot stove, your brain automatically gets signals indicating that you’re in pain. That’s why when you touch it, you quickly pull your hand away from the stove.
The fact is that chronic pain can greatly hinder a person’s ability to function on a daily basis and tools like an algometer can help measure that pain objectively.
What is an algometer? It’s a tool used to quantify and document a person’s pain threshold. This is done by testing levels of tenderness via pressure threshold measurement and pain sensitivity.
An algometer and physical assessment software can measure a patient’s pain and an algometry test can provide a summary of results such as range of motion data, pain thresholds, chronic pain conditions as well as a history that can be used to create a patient-specific plan to deal with chronic pain. An algometer can be used to reliably measure pain in someone’s pain in their muscles, ligaments, joints and tendons.
With algometry tests, the key to finding a pain threshold is to apply continuous pressure to a particular body part to monitor the results in real time.
A person’s pain tolerance can be determined by many things including genetics, past experiences, stress, age and sex. Believe it or not, there are many things a person can do to increase their pain tolerance and the way he or she perceives pain:
- Aerobics: Physical activity can do a lot to raise a person’s pain tolerance and lower their pain perception.
- Vocalization: When someone experiences pain, they tend to vocalize something like “ow” or “ouch.” You may not realize it, but that has an effect on the way pain is perceived. Studies have shown that people who vocalize their pain seem to have a higher pain tolerance.
- Mentality: How someone envisions pain in their mind can effect pain tolerance as well. When it comes to managing pain, thinking of relaxing things in as much detail as possible can help someone increase their pain tolerance.
- Yoga: Yoga is a great way for managing pain and increasing pain tolerance because it combines breathing techniques with meditation, mental training and physical postures. Practicing yoga on a regular basis can help a person tolerate more pain.
Bottom line: pain can be an extremely complex thing and while there’s no one right way to manage it, doing physical activity to increase pain tolerance and pain threshold can be very beneficial. An algometer can also help a person measure their pain tolerance in different parts of the body and can ultimately help them figure out the best ways to deal with pain.