Whether you have neck pain or a migraine, chances are the pain is more intense if you're a woman, say researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Their study in the Journal of Pain shows that women rate pain higher on a scale of 1 to 10 than men for the same conditions. The team analyzed more than 160,000 pain scores reported for more than 72,000 adult patients.
"In many cases, the reported difference approached a full point on the 1-to-10 scale. How big is that? A pain-score improvement of one point is what clinical researchers view as indicating that a pain medication is working," said study author Dr. Atul Butte, a professor of systems medicine in pediatrics.
This study piggybacks on others that have shown that women are more likely than men to feel pain from various diseases and conditions.
But this may be the first study that focuses on intensity of pain across a broad spectrum of medical conditions. Still, the findings don't lend any insight into why women feel pain more intensely. That's for a future study, Butte said. Further research may help manage pain more precisely depending, in part, on gender.