'Obesity lowers tolerance to pain' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Obesity lowers tolerance to pain'

new study has found that obese people have a lower level of tolerance to pain than their non-obese counterparts. The study, by a team of researchers

india Updated: Mar 03, 2006 13:39 IST

A new study has found that obese people have a lower level of tolerance to pain than their non-obese counterparts.

The study, by a team of researchers led by Charles Emery at the Ohio State University, was conducted on 62 older adults, about a third of who were obese, suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee, a disease that causes inflammation and extreme pain in the knees.

As a part of the study, the participants were given a mild electrical stimulation on their left ankle to measure their pain reflex, both before and after the participants took part in a 45-minute coping skills training session that included a progressive muscle relaxation exercise.

The researchers found that the obese patients showed a greater physical response to the electrical stimulation than did the non-obese people, at both times.

Emery said that though the relaxation session had benefited both groups, the obese participants still had a lower threshold for tolerating pain.

"Our tests showed both groups had higher physical pain thresholds after the relaxation session. But the obese participants still had a lower threshold for tolerating the pain," he said.

However, the researchers also reported that all participants, obese or not, reported that they felt less pain after the relaxation session than they did before.