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Everybody hurts? Science proves men are more sensitive to pain than women


A US study into chronic pain has found that men recall earlier painful experiences more clearly than women – and get more stressed out about pain in the same location.

Women on the other hand aren’t bothered by earlier experiences of pain.

That’s despite the knowledge that women are actually more sensitive to pain than men – and generally more stressed out too.

How did they come to this conclusion?

Time to ‘woman up’?

The team who made the discovery exposed both men and women to low levels of heat on their arm and asked to rate their pain on a scale of 100. The participants were then exposed to a higher-level of pain from a tightly inflated blood pressure cuff as a Pavlovian technique to condition them to the pain.

The participants then repeated the same heat experiment the next day – with the men significantly more stressed out by pain than the women.

The researchers say the results suggest that chronic pain is a problem to the extent that you remember it – which could help them treat health conditions such as back pain and arthritis by looking at the ways to help people ‘forget’ their memories of the pain.

“One thing is for sure, after running this study, I’m not very proud of my gender,” the study’s senior author Professor Jeffrey Mogil adds.

This is why women are the ones who have the babies.

With a background in nursing, Annie has spent over 20 years working in the health industry, including the coordination of medical support for international TV productions and major stadium events, plus education campaigns with a number of national health organisations. In recent years, she has also taken time out of the workforce to be a full-time carer, giving her first-hand experience of the challenges and rewards of this role.

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