A new research, which is part of an investigation done to dig into the causes of chronic pain, suggests that a person’s genetics determine his tolerance level for pain.
Chronic pain is consistent and lasts for weeks, months or may be years which is unlike acute or normal pain in which signals are sent to the body by the nervous system to alert it against any approaching injury.
A chronic pain may result from an ongoing disease such as arthritis, cancer, a sprained back or any infection. Chronic pain may also occur in people who are not suffering from any injury or disease.
Headaches, low back or nerve pain are common symptoms of a chronic pain. Apart from these, people who suffer from chronic pain may also experience chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, tempromandibular joint dysfunction, interstitial cystitis or vulvodynia.
There many treatments to be taken up by doctors which include drugs for chronic pain, acupuncture, local electrical stimulation, brain stimulation and surgery. Also, some doctors have reported success after treating patients with placebos.
Treatments which are used for chronic pain without inserting any instruments into the body cavity include psychotherapy, relaxation therapy, biofeedback and behaviour modification.
Some earlier researches also showed that patients suffering from chronic pain had lower levels of endorphins present in their spinal fluid. This made the doctors to aim at treatments stimulating endorphin levels.
During the study, 2721 patients were asked to rate their intensity of their pain on a scale of 0 to 10. People who rated their pain between 1 and 3 were categorized under low pain perception. Patients who scored 4-6 had moderate pain perception and people scoring between 7 and 10 were classified into high pain perception.
The study showed that only 9% of the participants had low pain perception while 46% had moderate and 45% had high pain perception. People who rated their intensity of pain as 0 were disqualified from the study.
Study author Dr. Tobore Onojjighofia said ‘’ our study is quite significant because it provides an objective way to understand pain and why different individuals have different pain tolerance levels". He added `` Chronic pain can affect every other part of life. Finding genes that may play a role in pain perception could provide a target for developing new therapies and help physicians better understand their patients' perceptions of pain’’.
Previous studies suggested that 40% of the chronic pain cases could be cured by antibiotics or by the freezing nerves treatment.
Image courtesy: Getty Images
News source: www.medicalnewstoday.com
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