Gender Differences and Chronic Pain – We Are Not Equal

17WOMEN-articleInlineAs a practitioner of structural integration and other myofascial specialties, I have an acute interest in chronic pain. Particularly when manual medicines can often be effective for musculoskeletal pain without the potential side effects of  pharmacological solutions.  That said I am not anti-drug, they have a place and a purpose just as our methods do. If your pain is so bad you're going to go home and fight with your spouse and kick your dog, maybe you should swallow your pride and  flexoril – just know that flexoril is a stopgap measure, not a solution. But when it comes to pain and gender, writer and teacher Laurie Edwards says there are "basic differences in gene expression, which can make differences in the way we metabolize drugs. For example, men metabolize caffeine more quickly, while women metabolize certain antibiotics and anxiety medications more quickly. In some cases, drugs work less effectively depending on sex; women are less responsive to anesthesia and ibuprofen for instance. In other cases, women are at more risk for adverse — even lethal — side effects.

"These differences are particularly important for the millions of women living with chronic pain. An estimated 25 percent of Americans experience chronic pain, and a disproportionate number of them are women. "

If your practice deals with a) women and b) chronic pain issues (I think that would be all of us) her article is a must read.