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Pain. Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be able to push through severe pain without flinching while others struggle through every bee sting, every scratch and every muscle twinge? We all experience pain—and deal with it—differently.
Pain tolerance is the maximum amount of pain you can handle before it becomes unbearable. So what gives some of us a higher tolerance for pain than others? The answer is more complicated than you might think.
Factors such as our mental health, physical health and our lifestyle choices can affect our pain tolerance. For example, anxiety and depression can make us more pain sensitive. You might also have lower pain tolerance if you have diabetes or another chronic disease, are a smoker or are severely overweight.
If you’re an athlete, the odds shift in your favor. Researchers have found athletes have a higher tolerance for pain than non-athletes. Typically, athletes who participate in game sports such as football and basketball can tolerate pain better than athletes who participate in endurance sports such as running and swimming.
When athletes experience pain or injury, it’s important for them to make an appointment with an orthopaedic or sports medicine specialist. You can learn more about the value of a sports medicine specialist in our eBook.
Given their higher tolerance for pain, how do athletes know when to push through in their quest to achieve their performance goals and when to listen to their bodies and take a break because their pain is a warning?
There’s a difference between discomfort—athletes call this “good pain”— and acute pain. As you push yourself during exercise, discomfort and fatigue are common. But acute pain—such as burning or stabbing—is a clear message that you should stop exercising. You should never ignore acute pain in your joints, muscles, bones or your chest. And when the pain persists, it’s time to consult a sports medicine specialist or other medical expert who is well versed in sports-related injuries and conditions.
So, how can you tell the difference? One of the simplest ways is to stop exercising. If the burning in your muscles goes away, chances are good that it was simply the result of exercising. If the pain persists, it’s time to stop.
In our comprehensive eBook, you can learn more about the common injuries athletes experience, sports medicine and how arthroscopy and other interventions can help return athletes to the playing field as safely and as quickly as possible.
When athletes experience acute pain or injury, it’s critical to seek treatment from a highly qualified sports medicine specialist or orthopaedic surgeon.
Dr. Robert A. Kayal and his elite team at Kayal Orthopaedic Center are the big playmakers on whom athletes can rely when pain and injury disrupt the game. They’ll work with you on a unique treatment plan that fits your needs and gets you off the disabled list as quickly as possible. They’ll focus on the best possible treatment, rehabilitation, tips and tools available to make you less vulnerable to reinjury and chronic pain.
To find out how our sports medicine experts can help keep you at the top of your game, call 844.777.0910 to schedule a same-day appointment.