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Women experience more neck pain than men

Shedding new light on how differ­ently men and women experience pain, researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have found that women are 1.38 times more likely than men to report neck pain due to cervical degen­erative disc disease.

Cervical degenerative disc disease is a common cause of neck pain. Symp­toms include stiff or inflexible neck, burning, tingling and numbness. Pain is most prevalent when the patient is up­right or moving the head.

The study by Meda Raghavendra and Joseph Holtman from Loyola Uni­versity Chicago Stritch School of Med­icine included 3,337 patients who were treated at Loyola’s Pain Management Centre. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine in Palm Springs, California, US. The study adds to the growing body of research on the differences in which men and women experience pain.

Previous studies have found that females are more likely to be treated at pain clinics for chronic pain and that certain painful conditions, such as mi­graine headaches and fibromyalgia, are more common in women.

Various explanations have been pro­posed, including hormonal differences and the belief that men may be less will­ing to report pain.

Raghavendra and Holtman also con­ducted a similar study of patients who were treated at Loyola’s Pain Manage­ment Centre for lumbosacral degener­ative disc disease or lower back pain. The prevalence in females was slightly higher than the prevalence in males, but this difference was not statistically sig­nificant, the researchers said.

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