How Do You Increase Pain Tolerance?

Enhancing pain tolerance is a multifaceted process that involves both physical and mental aspects. Pain tolerance, crucial in various contexts, including sports, rehabilitation, and everyday life, can be cultivated through several strategies and practices. 

While the perception of pain varies from person to person, there are methods to bolster one’s ability to endure discomfort and manage sensations more effectively.

Pain tolerance allows you to push harder during training and races. This differs from pain threshold, the minimal intensity at which pain begins to occur.

Stress, difficulty sleeping, and mental health conditions all impact pain tolerance differently. 

This blog will discuss the ways by which you can increase your pain tolerance.


Pain tolerance varies significantly among individuals and depends on complex interactions between your nerves and brain. Squeezing someone’s hand might cause 3/10 pain for one individual and 6/10 for another, depending on your sensitivity to pressure.

Pain threshold and tolerance are distinct concepts, though those living with chronic pain disorders like fibromyalgia or migraines may experience lower pain tolerance than others. 

A new study indicates you can increase your pain tolerance through regular physical exercise: researchers conducted a survey in Norway among 10,000 adults to find those who exercised regularly had better tolerance than sedentary adults.

Your body may be capable of handling more intense workouts, but it can increase pain tolerance more slowly through endurance and speed-building workouts that build gradually over time. Such exercises won’t disrupt your training plan while still pushing yourself hard!


Studies have shown that individuals can train themselves to become more resilient to pain by relaxing their nervous systems through meditation. Mindfulness meditation allows one to focus on being present without judgment, which helps lessen sensitivity to pain.

Studies are uncovering the brain mechanisms underlying mindfulness-induced pain reduction. Researchers are finding two potential pathways through which mindfulness may alleviate discomfort: default mode network activation and ventromedial prefrontal cortex processing of experiences (subregions that process how you relate and appraise affairs).

Other strategies to help increase pain tolerance include mental imagery and relaxation techniques. When experiencing discomfort, imagine yourself in a soothing setting such as a tropical beach or warm bubble bath – or visualize it physically like a red ball that you can then throw away or step on. 

Another form of biofeedback provides instruction on controlling how your body responds to stressors such as pain.

Say “Ow”

Understanding pain tolerance and threshold are distinct concepts. While tolerance refers to what a person can endure without experiencing pain, the threshold is the minimum amount of pressure necessary for someone to experience any unpleasant sensations.

Imagine someone starting by lightly squeezing your hand – which may feel like 3/10 pain to you – then gradually increasing to reach your personal threshold of pain, getting it, and beginning to hurt you.

Research has demonstrated that vocalizing pain can significantly decrease how intensely you experience it. A study that asked volunteers to swear when taking the cold compressor test discovered those who did so had higher tolerance levels than those who didn’t curse during it.

Other factors that impact pain tolerance include stress, social isolation, and past trauma or injury. High pain tolerance may be beneficial in certain instances; however, it may lead people to ignore warning signals in their bodies that indicate something may be wrong.


People with higher pain tolerances can withstand more physical discomfort than those with a lower tolerance. Still, it’s important to distinguish pain tolerance from pain threshold – which refers to the minimum pressure required to cause pain. 

When someone squeezes your hand, initially, you might feel tightness but no pain until they reach your threshold, at which point your perception will shift, and you’ll start experiencing symptoms.

Other factors, including chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia, can also play a part in how sensitive we are to pain. Such diseases can lead to hypersensitivity that causes more discomfort from everyday activities or minor injuries than before – impacting the quality of life and making daily tasks harder than they need to be. 

Luckily, there are ways you can increase your tolerance; most strategies can easily be done at home.


In conclusion, elevating pain tolerance involves a combination of physical conditioning, mental fortitude, and strategic techniques. Engaging in gradual exposure to discomfort, employing mindfulness and relaxation techniques, and utilizing distraction methods are key components in increasing pain tolerance. 

Moreover, a holistic approach that integrates physical fitness, mental resilience, and strategic coping mechanisms can significantly enhance one’s capacity to manage and endure pain, facilitating improved performance and a better quality of life.

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