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Does a person that can tolerate more pain have more chance of survival

  1. Jul 11, 2013 #1
    Does a person that can tolerate more pain have more chance of survival? Lets say that there are two exact same people but one can tolerate more pain than another, if the two are expose to the same physical damage, will the one with higher pain tolerance have more chance of survival? Thanks.
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  3. Jul 11, 2013 #2
    In some cases it could help if a person needed to complete a task in order to survive. The person with more pain tolerance could push through the pain and complete the task faster. However, consider the problem that if the pain tolerance is too high, the person may not know just how severe the injury is and not seek help as quickly.
  4. Jul 11, 2013 #3


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    This is a difficult question as it seems to boil down to "what are the biological effects of the perception of pain?" The perception of pain is poorly understood AFAIK and I'm not sure if the physiological differences between injury and pain perception are known. Perhaps someone can confirm or correct this.

    There's also the matter of psychological damage which presumably would be far worse for the individual with the lower threshold.
  5. Jul 11, 2013 #4
    Thank you very much, but if they are going to die will the person with higher pain tolerance die slower?
  6. Jul 11, 2013 #5


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    Having a positive outlook has been shown to increase survival in cancer patients. Experiencing less pain improves mental health and could thereby increase survival time, there might be publications on palliative pain medicine and survival.
  7. Jul 11, 2013 #6
    Is it a placebo effect?
  8. Jul 12, 2013 #7


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    Has that actually been shown to be true? Or is it rather that those patients with a positive mental outlook can cope better with the pain and possible dire consequences that may occur in their near future.

    From the American Cancer Society I found this:
    ... although that only refers to one study with no reference that I can see, or a description of how they managed to qualify high and low scores on a mental heath scale.

    Were there not another study(s) done on the aspect of prayer in regards to the survival and recovery rate of the sick and/or dying, independant of the religious status of the patient, and whether or not the patient knew they were being prayed for or not? The patient, knowing he was being prayed for, and thus not alone in ther time of difficulty, could necessarily feel more calm and peaceful, and with the eased mental state have a better chance towards a favourable outcome ( if the favourable outcome is recovery from the illness or lasting longer until death, which is surely subjective ).

    Reason I state this is that can these studies actually be considered similar to that of the testing the recovery and survival rate of patients haven taken a particular drug to combat an illness - the patient either dies or does not die.

    Testing the longevity of an illness or time until death does not really have a control group to test against. When does a person actually start dying and when does a person actually become sick would be very difficult to pinpoint.
  9. Jul 12, 2013 #8


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    If you qualify the manner of death, there could be an answer, and then maybe not.

    The two extremes are 1) violent death 2) natural death

    Two two patients dying from a violent death, such as from severe trauma to internal organs suffered from a car accident would die from other causes such as loss of blood, or organ failure which would outway any contribution of pain threshold.

    The two patients dying a natural death ( ie not due to that primarily caused by viral, bacterial infection or physical injury < == my definition and most likely not complete ) would lead different lives, be subject to different environmental influences, and have different genes. Their own systems and organs would wear down at different rates, whereupon a shutdown of a system or organ after a certain age would lead to death.

    A bacterial infection or viral infection, from the point of view of the invading species, does not care how much pain you are in or your responses of agony in its progression. From the point of view of your own body being able to fight the disease can it be determined that your own defenses are better apt to carry out their function if you are not mentally conficted with pain.

    A chemical attack upon your body such as through poison or damage to tissue due to radiation would have to fall under the same criterai.

    An attack upon your body from another large predator - same thing. In these instances hormones and chemicals released within your system during the attack, akin to the fight or flight response, have an effect on you being able to ward off an attack, but if you are overwhelmed by physical strength, the length of time towards dying would be factored in by the the predator's choice of body part to mangle first and not by any pain threshold.
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