(Dirk Anschutz/Getty Images)

Playing Through the Pain

Do athletes have a higher pain tolerance?

Ryan Krogh

Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.

Turns out athletes do have a leg up when it comes to dealing with pain. A recent review of 15 studies found that athletes in endurance sports have a moderately elevated pain tolerance, while athletes in game sports have a much higher tolerance. Interestingly, the athletes scored the same as a control group did in terms of pain threshold—the point at which discomfort begins—they were just able to deal with it longer.

From Outside Magazine, Dec 2012 Lead Photo: Dirk Anschutz/Getty Images

promo logo