Pain comes to us all, to paraphrase Robert Jordan, the author who said, “Death comes to us all; we can only choose how to face it when it comes.”
There is some relevance to the second half of his quote, as you’ll see.
When it comes to pain, women and men view and experience it differently.
According to the IASP, International Association of the Study of Pain,
“Chronic pain affects a higher proportion of women than men around the world; however women are less likely to receive treatment. Research has shown that women generally experience more recurrent pain, more severe pain and longer lasting pain than men.”
Oh yay, one more physical aspect of womanhood that just isn’t fair.
Why do we experience more pain?
One reason is that we have as much as twice as many nerves per square centimeter. More nerves translate to more pain. LiveScience.com reports that, “On average, women have 34 nerve fibers per square centimeter of facial skin. Men average just 17.”
Various studies have shown that the following contribute to more pain:
- Hormones and hormone fluctuations
- Being attuned to our bodies since puberty because of a monthly cycle
- Sensory neurons called nociceptors found in both sexes are more sensitive in females = lower threshold for pain
- Women are more inclined to worry about their health, and therefore are more susceptible to negative thoughts about their pain.<
“Negative perceptions of pain, being hypervigilant and catastrophizing about pain can reinforce pain signals, essentially telling your brain that it should continue producing pain” writes Ann-Marie D’arcy-Sharpe for Pathways Health.
We women are often thought of as ‘over exaggerating’ our level of pain. Docs may even dismiss our complaints entirely as “all in your head.”
And men are more likely to be referred for tests to determine the cause of their pain.
No wonder we spend more time in pain and worrying about the pain!
There is a school of thought that our awareness of our bodies coupled with the very real added stress that pain throws into the works results in an experience of more pain than we might have if not for those things.
Please science, we’re happy you’ve figured that out, but have you ever tried to focus on something else fully in the middle of a back spasm or a migraine?
Pain relief comes in many forms:
- ice packs
- heat packs
- and other modalities
This round-up features experts in the pain relief modality realm vs CBD or alternative medication.
I chose them because their work is proven and in all but one instance, practical. I included a woo option because energy healing works and it’s almost no work for the person looking for relief.
If you haven’t heard these episodes or are new to Rebellious Wellness, I invite you to have a listen. If you click one of the links it will take you to my website, from there if you’d like to listen on your favorite podcast app, you can link from there.
I’m keeping my intros short for each of these. You can learn more from the show notes on each page.
And each of these wonderful people have Youtube channels so you can experience their work without spending a dime.
- John and Sita are fascia stretching experts. Why fascia? Because every bit of your body has fascia running through it or around it. And when it’s tight, we end up crooked, in pain, or limited in our mobility. This is not foam rolling. I use their exercises. The exercises are work, but they work.
- Sue works with people on how they walk, hold their heads, where their shoulders are vs where they should be. She’s an expert in somatic movement. Small changes in how we walk, sit, and stand to make big improvements.
- Here’s my energy healing expert. Debora has so many testimonials it’s crazy. She’s been at this for decades. Her healing works on emotional as well as physical pain.
- Alyse specializes in people over 50 and especially those with arthritis. She has developed specific ways of exercising so that you don’t hurt and can actually heal some of the condition.
Dr. Alyse Kuhn
If you have a subject you’d like me to feature in a podcast or blog post, hit reply and let me know.
Be well til next time,