Monday, January 30, 2012

Women May Hurt More

Women are more sensitive to pain than men are, a study reported January 23 in the Journal of Pain has found. The study was based on data from 11,000 patients whose pain scores were recorded as a routine part of their care. To obtain pain scores, physicians asked patients to describe their pain on a scale from 0, for no pain, to 10, for the worst pain imaginable. For 21 out of 22 ailments, women reported higher pain levels. The ailments included joint and inflammatory pain, diabetes, ankle injuries, and even sinus infections.

When it comes to chronic pain, men are certainly not immune, however, with experts estimating that overall about 23 percent of the American population—as many as 116 million people—suffers from chronic pain.

There are a number of things that psychiatrists can do to help chronic pain patients, especially those who endure both mental illness and chronic pain. More information can be found in Psychiatric News here. Also, see Clinical Manual of Pain Management in Psychiatry, from American Psychiatric Publishing.

(Image: BioMedical/