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Study: Women are more pain sensitive than men

Findings reassure female patients that the pain is not "in their minds."


An article in the New York Times caught my attention this week. It was titled, ”In Rating Pain, Women are the More Sensitive Sex.”  It was based upon recent findings published in The Journal of Pain that suggest women are more sensitive to pain then men.

The article outlines differences and caveats -- the role of sex hormones, and social conditioning and stereotyping (are men really more stoic?).  But the bottom line seems to be that gender does make a difference in how a man or a woman experiences pain impulses in their body.

Here at CreakyJoints we talk often about pain -- under-reporting, under-treating, and the reluctance of many in our community to talk about their pain or ever expect relief.

These new findings add another layer of complexity to treatment, but also create some evidence-based support for you when you are a woman and find asking for more pain relief difficult.

The pain is not "in your mind."  You are biologically wired to feel it more intensely.

The pain is not "in your mind."  You are biologically wired to feel it more intensely.  You can -- and should -- ask for and expect enough medication to treat the pain.  You don’t have to be shy -- or try to manage it by yourself.  What you are experiencing is your suffering -- and as a female, it is likely that your pain is more severe.

What do these new findings suggest to you?  Are they useful as you think about taking yourself and your pain experience seriously?

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