There are lots of differences between women and men. Some differences, like physical ones, can be fairly obvious. Others, like biological and genetic differences, can’t be seen as easily but they can significantly impact your health.
All of these differences mean that women experience unique health challenges, and some health concerns that impact both genders affect women in different ways. One of those challenges is chronic pain.
Chronic pain is particularly common for women. In fact, it’s more likely to affect women than men, and it takes a variety of forms.
Our pain management team at Bryn Medical in Chattanooga, Tennessee, understands the different ways chronic pain affects women of all ages. From managing migraines to treating arthritis and more, find pain relief that works with our help. Request your first appointment online or call our office to book today.
Women’s bodies are more likely to experience pain
From a biological standpoint, women are more susceptible to musculoskeletal pain than men. Common types of musculoskeletal pain impacting women are back pain, osteoarthritis, and pelvic pain.
Back pain, whether it’s chronic low back pain, sciatica, or something else, is a leading cause of disability in the US. Women are more likely to have back pain that impacts their quality of life than men, particularly after menopause.
Women are also more likely to suffer osteoarthritis and bone deterioration. Osteoarthritis is wear and tear arthritis that causes joint deterioration, pain, and stiffness over time. Bone fragility is more common in women and nearly 80% of patients with osteoporosis are female.
Pelvic pain is another common source of chronic pain impacting women. Natural processes like menstruation, childbirth, and even menopause can cause significant, long-lasting pain and discomfort.
Women’s brains are more sensitive to pain sensations
Not only are women’s bodies at risk for pain in different ways than men’s bodies, but women’s brains process pain differently. Women’s nervous systems, including pain receptors and pain processors, are more sensitive to pain. That means pain sensations can be stronger.
The female hormones estrogen and progesterone are chemicals in the body that regulate bodily functions like your menstrual cycle, but they can also influence how you perceive pain. They can cause neurological changes that make pain feel stronger. It’s not uncommon for migraine pain to be brought on by hormonal changes.
Since women feel pain differently, pain management techniques can work differently. Opioid painkillers are meant to treat pain by targeting pain receptors in the brain, but they may not be as effective for women as they are for men because they affect different parts of the brain.
Pain affects women differently, but that doesn’t mean suffering from chronic pain is inevitable. Partner with our team to find pain management that fits your lifestyle. Together, we can determine the best way to treat your condition and help you find relief from chronic pain.
Find out what a life with less pain might look like for you. Request a free consultation online or call our team today to book your first appointment.