Let’s talk PAIN. I am, like many of you, in severe pain. In my injured opinion I believe there is a big difference between the concepts of pain treatment and pain management, and quite often when you – the injured worker- participate in pain treatment, you are in fact -somehow-postponing your ultimate requirement, namely that of learning pain management. Have you ever thought: “soon after I settle my workcover case, and I know my family is okay, I am going to kill myself rather than live with this pain”?
The injured worker’s capacity for pain tolerance
Pain tolerance refers to the amount of pain that an injured worker (or a person) can withstand before physical and/or emotional “collapse”. Conversely pain threshold is the minimum “stimulation” need to produce the initial pain.
People often falsely believe that repeated exposure to pain increases an injured worker (or any person’s) pain tolerance. In fact, the opposite is true: Repeated exposure to pain increases the injured worker’s response to painful stimuli.
Intense/severe pain makes the cells actually more responsive/sensitive even to small pain stimuli in the future.
That is why injured workers who are victims of a painful physical trauma, and those in acute pain, should and generally are relieved of pain as soon as possible, in order to prevent pain sensitisation.
It has been said that men generally have higher pain thresholds and greater pain tolerances than women.
Having someone (i.e. partner, spouse, close friend, psychologist) provide emotional support during the trauma/pain also reduces the experience of pain.
That said, there is the (false) belief among many chronic (severe) pain sufferers that they can never tolerate their pain and that they should never be forced to do so. People in severe (chronic) pain also reason that narcotics should never be diminished or withheld if it clearly blocks (some of) the pain.
…and there is still quite a bit medical treaters (incl. psychologists) can do to ensure they manage their pain maximally.
I had a fellow, severely injured worker tell me that “soon after my workcover case is settled, and I know my husband and kids are okay, I am going to kill myself rather than live with this pain. Eight years later, she is still alive and amazingly “active”, even though her pain is worse than it was 8 years ago.
Not long after this, her younger sister was injured and the sister stated “if I have to live with the pain my sister has had, I will kill myself.”
Have you ever thought about killing yourself rather than to live with your pain? I certainly have, years ago and again more recently… and yet I am still alive….meaning that I probably still have not figured out my own pain tolerance….and resilience.
[dictated by WCV and manually transcribed on behalf of WCV]