Current Rheumatology Reports

, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp 342–347 | Cite as

Individual differences in pain responses

  • Roger B. Fillingim


The experience of pain is characterized by tremendous inter-individual variability. Indeed, an identical noxious stimulus can produce vastly different pain responses across individuals. Historically, scientists have regarded this vari-ability as a nuisance; however, substantial data suggest that these individual differences may provide valuable informa-tion that can be used to enhance clinical management of pain. This paper discusses several factors that contribute to individual differences in pain perception, including demo-graphic (ie, sex, age, and ethnicity), genetic, and psycho-social variables. These factors are discussed in the context of the biopsychosocial model of pain, which posits that pain perception is influenced by interactions among biologic, psychosocial, and sociocultural factors. Finally, the clinical and scientific implications of individual differences in pain are discussed.


Fibromyalgia Pain Perception Pain Sensitivity Pain Response Clinical Pain 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Current Science Inc 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger B. Fillingim
    • 1
  1. 1.Public Health Services and ResearchUniversity of Florida College of DentistryGainesvilleUSA

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