Perhaps someday, but it’s complicated. This is because the brain is not a simple input-output device. If we step on a thumbtack, it hurts … but can hurt more if you are feeling sad and lonely and much less if you are in love and just won the lottery. Expectations and memories matter, and so – our genotype – is something that reflects the development brain systems used for processing emotions, memories and expectations (like, um, the whole brain does this).
This paper explored this question using a shoulder exercise soreness assay and the COMT genotype and found that:
Participants that endorsed cognitions consistent with pain catastrophizing and had a genetic predisposition to low COMT enzyme activity had significantly higher pain intensity and pressure pain ratings when compared with groups with 1 or no risk factors.
“Pain catastrophizing” is a measure of how much a person ruminates (unable to suppress or divert attention away from pain-related thoughts) and/or focuses on and exaggerates the threat value of a painful stimuli and/or feels helpless and unable to cope with the adversity of painful stimuli. It may be the most important aspect of coping with pain … an understanding that your perspective modulates your pain.
This may be worth noting given the “dramatic increase in accidental deaths associated with the use of prescription opioids and also an increasing average daily morphine equivalent dose” despite the finding that “there is no clear evidence that long-term opiate therapy for chronic back pain is efficacious”.