fendrock Posted October 31, 2004 Report Share Posted October 31, 2004 As an offshoot on the thread, “Is a Little Pain Okay?,” I thought some might be interested in this reference to a pain study, as well as a non-dancer’s view on why dancers are tolerant to pain. It’s from a book by a surgeon, from a chapter on pain. It’s also intriguing that they chose to study ballet dancers: In one study… researchers measured pain threshold and tolerance levels in fifty-two dancers from a British ballet company and fifty-three university students using a standard method called the cold-pressor test…. The results were striking. On average, female students reported pain at sixteen seconds and pulled their hands out of the ice water at thirty-seven seconds. Female dancers went almost three times as long on both counts…. What explains the difference? Probably it has something to do with the psychology of ballet dancers – a group distinguished by self-discipline, physical fitness, and competitiveness, as well as by a high rate of chronic injury. Their driven personalities and competitive culture evidently inure them to pain: that’s why they are able to perform through sprains and stress fractures, and why half of all dancers develop long-term injuries…. Other studies along these lines have shown that extroverts have greater pain tolerance than introverts, that drug abusers have low pain tolerance and thresholds, and that, with training, one can diminish one’s sensitivity to pain…. From Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science, by Atul Gawande Quote Link to comment
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