Everyday People Matter

Women’s Pain More Likely to Be Ignored

| May 2, 2013 | Uncategorized

Women, who suffer from pain as a result of some kind of medical condition or disability, are much more likely to have their reports of pain dismissed. This is even though women may actually be more likely to suffer from pain due to physiological and other causes.

Doctors have known for very long now that women and men vary greatly in the way that they respond to certain drugs, and even the way that they feel pain. Women have hormonal cycles that determine their level of tolerance to pain. Their organs are smaller, and their bodies are made up of a much higher body fat composition, which means that drugs affect their bodies differently.

These differences are even more acute for those women who live with chronic pain across the country. As many as 25% of Americans suffer from chronic pain, and a significant proportion of those Americans are believed to be women. There are millions of women who currently live with symptoms of chronic pain, and many of them are on Social Security disability benefits.

In fact, according to one study, women actually have a higher risk of developing conditions that result in chronic pain, like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and even chronic fatigue syndrome. They’re much more likely to suffer from these conditions than men.

Studies have found however, that women are not as likely to receive aggressive treatment for their pain, compared to men, even after a diagnosis. They are also much more likely to have their pain perceived as being “emotional” and therefore not deserving of any “real” treatment. Such bias against women can also very likely affect the processing of their Social Security disability claim.