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Women suffer more than men from chronic pain


Evidence is mounting that women experience pain on a completely different level to men. Recent findings even go so far as to say that women have more recurring pain and disabilities related to this pain. Chronic pain in women last longer and is more intense than in men, researchers say.

Also, illnesses associated with pain, like irritable bowel syndrome, migraines and osteoarthritis are more common in women than in men.

“Chronic pain affects a higher proportion of women than men around the world. We need to encourage women to take a more active role in their treatment and reduce the stigma and embarrassment of this problem,” Business Week quotes Jennifer Kelly of the Atlanta Center for Behavioral Medicine as saying.

According to Kelly, one reason women experience pain differently than men could be hormones. Migraines, for example, are known to have something to do with estrogen. Also, when a woman gets her period, she might be more sensitive as there could be changes in discomfort.

“Genetic and hormonal differences may be the main reason for any differences, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that social and psychological factors are also important,” Kelly said.

“Women tend to focus on the emotional aspects of pain. Men tend to focus on the physical sensations they experience. Women who concentrate on the emotional aspects of their pain may actually experience more pain as a result, possibly because the emotions associated with pain are negative.”

Celebrities who suffer from migraines include Marcia Cross and Janet Jackson.


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