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Low Pain Tolerance? It's a Gene Thing!

When it comes to tolerating pain, are you a Spartan or a Sniveler? Research studies suggest that the answer lies in your genes and brain chemistry.

Pain tolerance is a fact

Researchers are starting to correlate pain tolerance to changes that happen inside our brain. Using sophisticated technologies, such as functional-MRI (which actually lets doctors watch brain activity as it occurs and changes in response to stimuli) imaging experts have found that people who report more pain also exhibit more dramatic changes in brain activity.

Women appear to be programmed for higher pain tolerance because they produce estrogen, which increases the number of places in their brain where natural pain relief chemicals reside. After menopause (when estrogen levels drop dramatically), women begin to feel more kinds of pain, more intensely, and more often. 

Your genes control your pain tolerance

Although genetic tests for pain tolerance are not yet available, there are genetic markers that can predict how much relief different individuals will get from certain prescription painkillers. Experts estimate that about 50% of the pain tolerance spectrum correlates genes. So, investigators conclude, different people need different amounts of pain relief medicine in order to enjoy the same amount of analgesic benefit.

That dilemma can result in serious medical risk for those who need high dosages, more often. On the one hand, the dangers of over-the-counter pain relief are well documented. On the other hand, prescription narcotics are highly addictive. This helps explain why more doctors than ever are encouraging their patients to use natural pain relief products, like the herbal pain relief spray Premiere’s Pain Spray.  

New research indicates that the differences in pain tolerance stem from individual variations in the human gene COMT (catechol-O-methyl transferase). We get a copy of COMT from each parent, carrying one of two amino acids: valine or methiorine.  Most babies inherit some of each. That gives them an “average” pain tolerance.  Those with only valine-carrying genes can tolerate more pain with less discomfort. Those with only methiorine-carrying genes cannot tolerate pain well at all.  

Is There Really “Pain Memory”?

Researchers have also learned that there are neurons in the body that actually retain “pain memory.”  In some people, they are especially active and the connections between them are very strong.  In these individuals, increased sensitivity can make even a mild body ailment or injury feel intolerable. This helps explain why some people feel more pain than others and why some never completely recover from the pain they experience. For example:

  • Studies suggest that infants and children who undergo painful medical procedures become more pain-prone if their pain is not treated appropriately.
  • Children also learn about pain from their parents, peers and the wider culture. A parent who frets a lot over pain may well raise a fretful child.
  • Heightened pain responses also are seen in people with a family history of substance abuse and those who have been abused physically, sexually or emotionally.
  • Over time, chronic pain conditions (like arthritis) appear to trigger pain perception, at least in vulnerable people.

So whether the problem is lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, upper back pain, joint pain, shingles pain, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, pinched nerves, tendinitis, muscle sprain or even headache pain—doctors now know that some of us suffer more of it than others.

Beat Heredity with All-Natural Products!

Anyone can enjoy instant, herbal and natural pain relief with Premiere’s Pain Spray. Safely used by adults and children nationwide, this natural menthol pain relief spray is also a favorite among doctors, nurse practitioners, massage therapists, physical and occupational therapists, osteopaths and naturopaths for its fast-acting analgesic effect. Perfect for temporary relief from virtually any muscle or joint ache. The more your spray, the stronger the relief.  No numbness. No drowsiness. No harmful side effects.  Safe to use as often as needed.

 

Breaking Research News about PHC

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Man with lower back pain and Premiere's Pain Spray bottle.