Why do some people feel pain differently?
Pain is an act of believe. No one will ever know the truth, all we can do is believe in you when you say I am in pain. We cannot see pain, we cannot measure pain, we only know about pain itself because of our own experiences with it. How we feel pain, how strong it is for us, how much we can take of it, are all unique characteristics specific to each person.
Pain perception is not just mediated by injury or potential damage. It is very influenced by genetics, social and emotional factors. The reason why we use a 0 to 10 scale to judge pain is because a pain level of a 5 for myself might only be a 2 for you, or a 9 for someone else.
What we would call protoplasm, some people appear to tolerate pain more than others and vice versa. Two siblings with same injury will feel different intensity of pain.
Some children raised in very protective environment versus very stoic will react and behave differently towards their pain.
We all experience headaches and we don’t make much of one, BUT a common headache becomes overbearing for a patient with a brain tumor because a simple headache will be linked to the tumor by the patient.
We are all so different.
Cesar A. Euribe, MD