(HealthDay News) – Triathletes have less fear of pain and are better able to tolerate pain compared with non-athletes, according to a study published online in Pain.

Nirit Geva, PT, and Ruth Defrin, PT, PhD, from Tel-Aviv University in Israel, performed a series of pain tests and administered pain questionnaires to 17 non-athletes and 19 triathletes.

The researchers found that triathletes had significantly higher pain tolerance and significantly lower pain ratings and fear of pain values. Triathletes also had significantly greater conditioned pain modulation, which was negatively correlated with fear of pain and perceived mental stress during training and competition.

“The results suggest that triathletes exhibit greater pain tolerance and more efficient pain modulation than controls, which may underlie their perseverance in extreme physical efforts and pain during training/competitions,” Geva and Defrin conclude.

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