Arthritis and pain tolerance

Pain is something that everyone needs to deal with since it is a fact of life.

But for many people, pain takes on a very dramatic meaning, especially when the pain comes from a condition called arthritis. This condition affects the entire body and inflicts pain on the bones, tendons, and muscles. To alleviate the pain, some people have resorted to the use of arthritis pain relief medications. Some have a higher pain tolerance or pain threshold and do not need to take medication to stop arthritic pain.

Medically speaking, pain tolerance refers to just how much pain a person can withstand before breaking down emotionally or psychologically. In some cases, it may also refer to how much pain a person can endure before passing out. However, some people afflicted with arthritis claim that pain tolerance may also refer to the body and mind’s ability to incorporate or endure pain on a daily basis and, thereby negating pain as a hindrance. It is very interesting that pain tolerance can be actually developed by training the mind and the body to “ignore” pain. However, the use of the term “ignore” might be a misnomer in this case. Patients who refuse to take arthritis pain relief medications attest that those who have pain tolerance don’t so much as ignore pain as they do simply “live with it.” The idea is that people with a high level of pain tolerance have developed a threshold that can be similar to people with alcohol tolerance. Other people can drink a lot without getting drunk. Some people can take pain more frequently and at higher levels compared to most people.

Pain tolerance is still the subject of much debate in scientific circles. There are many patients who claim that it is real and that they can actually demonstrate their ability to withstand pain. On the other hand, people who have taken arthritis pain relief medications claim that the said drugs can dull the mind’s ability to drown out the sensation of pain. They further claim that the dulling sensation also prevents them from performing other daily tasks.

However, despite reported side effects, most prefer to stick to using arthritis pain relief medication. For one thing, most people would rather not have to spend the time needed to grow accustomed to the pain. Another obvious reason is that not everyone can develop a high tolerance for pain. In some ways, pain tolerance is affected by a person’s psychology and outlook.

Deciding who needs to take drugs to control arthritis is an important task for a pain control specialist or doctor. Since a person’s state of mind determines how much a person can mentally handle before breaking down, a doctor cannot simply decide if medication is needed without a thorough consultation. In addition, there is also the possibility of developing drug dependence due to long-term use of arthritis pain relief.

Whether patients can develop pain tolerance when taken off arthritis pain relief treatments is arguable, at best. Not everyone has the same threshold of pain as those who don’t take the medication, and others may simply be capable of enduring more pain. The choice to take medication or not is not the only factor to be considered. Other determinants such as physical conditioning, psychological state, and other physiological factors also have an effect on the development of pain tolerance.

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