Why Women Are More Prone to Chronic Pain

Women have unique health concerns. Physical, biological, and genetic differences mean that women face different health challenges and experience some of the same challenges differently than men.

One health concern that’s particularly common for women is chronic pain. Women are not only more likely to experience chronic pain than men, but it can impact their lives in different ways. 

Paul Sandhu, MD, understands how pain affects women of all ages, and he’s passionate about helping you live a life with less pain. At Pain Solvers, he’ll work with you to find pain-management solutions that work for you.

Women’s bodies are at an increased risk for pain

Musculoskeletal pain is more common for women than for men. While men can and do experience ongoing musculoskeletal pain, women are more likely to have a number of chronic conditions, such as back pain and fibromyalgia.

Women are 4-7 times more likely to have fibromyalgia than men. It’s a condition that causes chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain, and it can be difficult to diagnose and treat. 

Women are more likely to suffer joint pain and deterioration from osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis. And osteoporosis, a related condition in which bones become weak and fragile, is also more common in women. Nearly 80% of people with osteoporosis are women

Reproductive organs and biological processes, such as menstruation, pregnancy, and childbirth can also be a significant source of pain. From severe menstrual cramps to chronic pain following trauma during childbirth, pelvic pain affects nearly 15% of women.

Women are more sensitive to pain

In addition to having physical differences that influence pain, women’s brains process pain differently. Pain receptors and pain processors in the nervous system are responsible for sending and receiving pain signals. Women may be more prone to chronic pain because their brains are more sensitive to pain.

Estrogen and progesterone, the female hormones, can cause neurological changes in the body that make pain sensations stronger. For some women, hormonal changes that come with menstrual cycles can bring migraine headaches.

Women’s brains receive and process pain differently than men’s brains, and that can impact how effective pain-management treatments are. Certain prescription medications for pain, such as opioid painkillers, may not be as effective for women as men, because the drugs may not affect the right parts of the brain.

Finding relief from chronic pain

Women might be more likely to experience chronic pain, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer in silence. If you have chronic pain, Dr. Sandhu will partner with you to diagnose and treat your condition.

Our team will take the time to understand your pain and how it affects your life. We can implement a variety of pain-management strategies to help you find what works for you. Treatment methods often include a combination of physical therapy, pain-relieving medications, and lifestyle changes.

If you’re living with chronic pain, Dr. Sandhu and our team can help. Book an appointment online or over the phone with Pain Solvers today.

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