Pain in Men vs. Women

In recent years there has been much research regarding differences experiencing pain in men vs. women. The expansive literature in this area signifies that men and women have different responses to pain. Higher pain sensitivity and risk for clinical pain is more common in women. Although there is no specific etiological basis that underlies the sex difference in pain. However, certain biological and psychosocial factors may contribute to different responses to pain.

Possible Factors for Sex Difference Regarding Pain

Studies also suggest that men and women differ in responsiveness to pharmacological and non-pharmacological pain intervention. The genes have an important role in pain sensitivity. Structural changes in genotype among men and women could be a possible factor. Endogenous opioid-functioning could be another factor. It regulates the receptors in your body that are responsible for pain. It is important to realize here that response to pain, however, can be a subjective matter as well.

Psychosocial factors such as early-life exposure to stress and suffering pain might elucidate the sex difference in pain. Moreover, the gender-stereotyping notion has also contributed to the difference in expressing and responding to pain. Much of this stereotyping is quite common in different countries and cultures of the world.

One must not ignore factors like behavioral responses to children when they complain about pain and their after effects on a person’s life. A child might stop complaining about pain altogether if a common response to his/her complain is scolding and shouting. A similar response to pain in children can be a result of parents telling them to face the pain toughly.

Sex hormones can also have an impact on pain. Testosterone is believed to have an analgesic effect and that’s why men’s response to certain pains is calmer than women’s. As a result of hormonal differences, women experience more chronic pain than men when they have back problems. Decreased levels of progesterone and estrogen after menopause can make a woman’s body vulnerable to inflammation and pain.

Regardless of the medical condition, women seem to report feeling more pain than men. Studies have suggested the same elevated sensitivity to pain in women when it comes to serious chronic illnesses like arthritis, diabetes, etc.

The difference in Backache and Spine Related Problems

Epidemiological stats tell us that women have complained more about acute and chronic pain.  Several factors make women a little more susceptible to backache and vertebral problems than men.

Pregnancy and childbirth increase the chances of a herniated disk. Lifting a heavy child for a long time can further elevate the risk of backache and vertebral disk problems.

Calcium deficiencies and bone-related diseases are twice as common as in men.  About one in every three women has a calcium deficiency. Change in diet and lifestyle has more contributed to calcium deficiencies resulting in weaker bones in women these days.

With weaker bones, risks of bone disparities, and pain becomes high. Osteomyelitis, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis have become women-associated diseases. Women also get more knee replacement surgeries than men.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Backache problems and spinal conditions are serious for both men and women. If you have backache or pain in arms and legs that is causing you discomfort, then you must not ignore.  

Contact Dr. Matthew Grimm at 646-862-5555 to book a consultation. Spine New York City specializes in general pain and spinal conditions.

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