Research Analyzes Pain Threshold

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Studies have shown that women suffer more chronically painful conditions than men, are better able to discriminate pain, and have lower thresholds to experimental pain stimuli. The current study, reported in The Journal of Pain (September 2004), evaluated the responses of 157 oral surgery patients (99 women) to experimental pain stimuli and clinically induced acute inflammatory pain.

The results found that the female patients exhibited greater responses to experimentally induced pain. Yet, there were no differences shown for clinical pain related to gender or ethnicity. The researchers concluded that future investigations of pain responses should factor in the participants' gender and ethnicity and the type of pain-inducing stimuli used.