What do thoracic outlet syndrome, fibromyalgia, low back pain, and whiplash pain all have in common? All of these types of pain are more likely in women. Even when faced with this fact, the male dominated world of medical research seems to be reluctant to explain the gender-bias tendency of pain. Usually, the reports acknowledge the higher prevalence of pain among women, but the reports fail to really examine the reasons. So, why are women more prone to pain? Here are some possible reasons:
- Women have a different wardrobe that includes bras, high heels, and heavy purses. This social coding can lead to more pain.
- Pain trigger levels and tolerance levels are different in women compared with men. This genetic coding can lead to more pain.
- Women tend to be more anxious than men. And anxiety is the largest amplifier of pain.
- The hormonal stew in women is different than men. Never underestimate the power of hormones.
- As caretakers and nurturers, women have difficulty saying “No” to demands.
- Women are built differently than men; women are built to have babies.
- Pregnancy results in visible stretch marks and invisible structural changes.
- Women are more sensitive to threats and threats lead to painful signals.
Someday researchers will set their sights onto unlocking the reason pain is more common in women. When they do, they may find the key to unlock this whole mystery about pain; and then they will finally release the powerful grip that pain has on the entire society, both men and women.