Men's Health : Do Men Feel Less Pain?

Barry Carpenter, KDAF-TV, Dallas

-- Amanda Thompson knows a thing or two about pain--she suffers from complex regional pain syndrome- a progressive neurological condition that impacts skin, muscles, joints and bones.

It started after a second foot surgery and the pain was off the charts--worse than childbirth.

"At that time, I would say higher than ten," Thompson said. "It was very, very unmanageable."

And according to a study at Stanford University she feels the pain more than a man would.

Researchers looked at the medical records of 11,000 patients who had their pain scored an in 21 of 22 ailments women rated their pain level higher than men.

For back pain women rated their pain level at 6.03. Men at 5.53.

Women rated joint and inflammatory pain at 6.00. Men 4.93.

In all--women's pain levels were nearly 20 percent higher.

Baylor-Garland Dr. Justin Badiyan is fellowship trained in anesthesiology and pain medicine--he called the study surprising because pain scores are so subjective.

"There are several theories behind that whether it's genetic, hormonal or psychological," Dr. Badiyan said. "It still remains to be seen as to why that is."

Dr. Badiyan said he has more female patients than male patients but that may be because there are more women than men in the general public.

He treats both sexes the same but feels that women may be more open about pain than men.

"Men may feel like they, and this is just my opinion, men may feel they need to under report their pain so that they don't come across as being a wimp to their physicians," Dr. Badiyan said.

Amanda doesn't agree with the study and said that women listen to their bodies more than men.

"I don't know," Amanda said. "Maybe we're more in-tune with it or maybe we know how to deal with it better.

Whatever the reason Amanda likes what her body is telling her now--she's getting better and feeling less pain.

©2012 KDAF-TV (Dallas)

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