Women Have More Pain Than Men

Marketing to Women: Addressing Women and Women's Sensibilities, June 2001 | Go to article overview

Women Have More Pain Than Men


Women are more likely than men to report having constant or frequent pain, including neck or back pain and headaches or migraines, according to Opinion Research Corp. International and Campbell Mithun Esty Health (CME Health) research, sponsored by HoMedics. More than a quarter of women experience frequent headaches / migraines (28%) and neck pain (27%), compared to less than two in 10 men (17% and 19%, respectively).

While back pain affects about one third of both women and men, it is more prevalent in women (34%) than men (29%). Women are almost twice as likely as men to report high levels of chronic pain: 15% of women versus 8% of men report such pain.

Women are more likely than men to seek professional treatment for their discomfort: 71% of women see a doctor for pain or injury, compared to 58% of men. Two thirds of women (66%) have an annual physical exam, while only half (50%) of men do so. Women express greater interest than men do in alternative therapies for pain; 24% of women and 17% of men seek alternative treatments to supplement traditional medical pain remedies.

USE OF ALTERNATIVE PAIN TREATMENTS, BY GENDER
Treatment              Women  Men
Massage therapy         20%   11%
Relaxation techniques   18%   11%
Magnet therapy          12%   12%
Note: Sample is women and men with frequent
or chronic pain.
Source: Opinion Research International and HoMedics

Women and men attribute their pain to different causes. Among women and men with frequent back pain, women consider health conditions (53%) and household chores (23%) to be causal factors, while men blame job-related activities (48%) and sports (21%) for their pain. …

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