Low Pain Tolerance? Don't Whine, It's Your Genes

Something new to blame on our genes.  Our tolerance for pain.

According to newswise.com, researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others.

Now, I, for one, have a high pain tolerance.  When I broke my wrist this winter and it took numerous times to reset the bone -- all without anesthesia, and only morphine for the last two tries -- I somehow took it.  I remember concentrating on the ceiling at one point when I thought I was going to jump out of my skin, and indeed, people who have an easier time concentrating and focusing in on things have a better pain tolerance, according to a study.

My husband, on the other hand, starts whining the minute he gets a hang nail (though he never goes to the doctor, it's true).  His mother suffered through two strokes -- one at 20 and one at 40, where she lost the ability to talk, walk and just about everything else -- only to have a complete recovery both times (but then, she is a woman).

“Our study is quite significant because it provides an objective way to understand pain and why different individuals have different pain tolerance levels,” said study author Tobore Onojjighofia, MD, MPH, with Proove Biosciences and a member of the American Academy of Neurology at newswise.com. “Identifying whether a person has these four genes could help doctors better understand a patient’s perception of pain.” 

You know that test where they ask you what number your pain's at?  A 10 for unbearable and a 1 for pretty much okay?  Well, I'm a stoic and don't like to be seen as a baby so I was saying "3" or "4" when they were working my wrist.  (It was really about a !2.)

“Chronic pain can affect every other part of life,” the Web site quotes Onojjighofia. “Finding genes that may be play a role in pain perception could provide a target for developing new therapies and help physicians better understand their patients’ perceptions of pain.”

So next time my husband complains, I'm going to tell him to blame it on his genes.  


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