Katrina Maluf’s research that was presented at the 2017 American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting was highlighted on the Runner’s World website. Congratulations Katrina on your accomplishment!
How Training Helps You Handle Pain
Two studies presented at last week’s American College of Sports Medicine conference add to the growing literature on the links between training, pain perception, and racing. Taken together, they add to the belief that training can increase your ability to deal with pain.
The first, from Katrina Maluf and her colleagues at San Diego State University, explores the links between daily physical activity and pain sensitivity.
It’s fairly well-established that athletes have a similar pain threshold but higher pain tolerance than the general population. That means that if I start poking people with a stick with increasing pressure, athletes and non-athletes will say “Hey, that hurts!” at roughly the same point, but non-athletes will say “Stop, I can’t take it anymore!” sooner than athletes.
That’s thought to be a consequence of the discomfort that athletes endure as a regular part of training. It doesn’t change how they feel pain, but they improve their ability to cope with that pain.