A new study carried out by the scientists from Montreal and Toronto revealed that men and women remembered chronic pain distinctly. More specifically, women are more sensitive to physical pain, in general, while men recall it more deeply which could boost their stress when they have to deal with the pain of the same intensity in the future.
“What’s interesting about this is that if you were going to make a guess about there being a sex difference here, almost everyone — including me — would have guessed the other way,” said Jeffrey Mogil from the McGill University and co-author of the study.
“Men are supposed to be stoic and macho, and women don’t have to be, and so if anyone is going to admit to being stressed on Day Two, it should be the women. But it wasn’t. It was the men,” the researcher added.
Men and Women Remembered Chronic Pain Distinctly In A New Study
“The researchers experimented on lab mice and humans and noted similar results. The researchers applied low levels of heat to the hind paws of the mice. For the 41 men and 38 women, the heat was administered to their forearms,” Montreal Gazette reported.
“It’s either that the men are remembering (the pain) and the women aren’t, or it’s that they’re both remembering but only in men is that memory causing stress,” added Jeffrey Mogil. He said that the study indicated that memory plays a role in chronic pain.
“This is an important finding because increasing evidence suggests that chronic pain is a problem to the extent that you remember it, and this study is the first time such remembered pain has been shown using a translational – both rodent and human subject – approach. If remembered pain is a driving force for chronic pain and we understand how pain is remembered, we may be able to help some sufferers by treating the mechanisms behind the memories directly,” explained Loren Martin from the University of Toronto Mississauga, and the study’s leading author.