Chronic pain affects up to 50 million Americans. Both men and women suffer from it, but a difference seems to lie in how the sexes experience it.
Men, it seems, report more suffering.
“There was some reason to expect that we would see increased sensitivity to pain on the second day (of the study),” said Jeffrey Mogil, the E.P. Taylor Professor of Pain Studies in McGill’s Department of Psychology in Canada, and senior author of a new study. “But there was no reason to expect it would be specific to males. That came as a complete surprise.”
Why are there differences in how men and women response? Researchers feel that in men, the stress of anticipation experienced when waiting for pain to strike- if it’s known to be coming- causes a greater sensitivity to pain when it comes, than it does in women.
Since experts increasingly agree that chronic pain is a problem to the extent that you remember the pain, the findings are significant.
It’s hoped that the results will move research forward in the quest for future treatments of chronic pain.
Pain relief medication is a common prescription for those who suffer from chronic pain. Since it can lead to dependence on opioids, searching for other options can be beneficial. Talk to your doctor about natural remedies for relief, if you feel you are suffering.
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