Over the years a number of clinical trials have shown significant gender differences with regard to susceptibility to pain through illness, effectiveness of medications and recovery after anaesthetic. Furthermore, these results coincide with general lore where it is often said that women tolerate pain better than men.
However, new research led by scientists at Malaga University with the aim of examining the differences between men and women in terms of their experience with chronic pain has dispelled this theory, revealing that these differences are minimal. Moreover, the study affirms that men and women endure chronic pain on similar levels.
AdvertisementResilience, a person's ability to overcome adverse circumstances, was the main quality linked with pain tolerance among patients and their adjustment to chronic pain.
Carmen Ramirez-Maestre, researcher at the Andalusian institution, said, "More resilient individuals tend to accept their pain, that is, they tend to understand that their ailment was chronic and they stopped focusing on trying to get the pain to disappear, to focus their energy on enhancing their quality of life, despite the pain."
The research also showed that patients that feared pain also suffered significantly more anxiety and depression. The scientists concluded that this fear was only related to a greater degree of pain in the samples of men and this was the only difference identified between the sexes. The study is published in The Journal of Pain.