Caffeine and Pain: have another cup of coffee

A recent small observational study suggests that regular caffeine intake may increase one’s ability to withstand pain. The authors report that “caffeine is is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world,” and in laboratory settings has been used to reduce pain. Now in this study, community living subjects self-reported their caffeine consumption, averaging 170 milligrams of caffeine a day, the equivalent of about 2 cups of coffee. After seven days consecutive days of caffeine consumption, they were then tested with heat and pressure for their pain threshold and their pain tolerance. This may have clinical implications on the treatment of chronic pain. This study did not examine whether the development of caffeine tolerance affects caffeine’s possible ability to change pain perception.

Read: NYTimes Caffeine May Increase Pain Tolerance

Read: Psychopharmacology - Higher habitual dietary caffeine consumption is related to lower experimental pain sensitivity

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