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Centre for Orthopaedics
Suite 10-33/34/35 Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
38 Irrawaddy Road
Singapore, 329563, Singapore
Ph: (65) 6684 5828
Fax: (65) 6684 5829

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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Is it true that older people have less pain than younger people?

It appears that there may be a general trend for aging adults to have less pain with the same stimulus compared to younger adults. Scientists are unsure how to explain this. It could be a function of age with pain receptors becoming fewer and less functional.

Or it could be that an increased number of pain experiences over the years helps the older adult tune it out more effectively.

A recent study of attachment styles has shed some light on this subject. Attachment styles describes how secure or insecure someone may be in relationship to others. A more securely attached adult has less anxiety and less pain when compared to someone with an insecure attachment style.

In fact, younger, more fearfully attached adults are more likely to have greater pain and less pain tolerance when exposed to the same amount of pain as a secure or dismissive adult.

With all the other senses declining in old age, the decrease in pain perception may seem like a good thing. But pain is a protective mechanism to help warn and guide us. Only in cases of chronic pain would a reduced pain sensation be to anyone's advantage.


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