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Women & Pain: Why They Hurt More Than Men & What To Do About It – QNS.com

Women & Pain: Why They Hurt More Than Men & What To Do About It

Why does nature make it doubly hard for women when it comes to pain?
According to a Forest Hills physician, Dr. Mark A. Young, who has written the book Women and Pain, the events of Sept. 11 have spelled suffering and misery for millions of men and women, but women have fared the worst.
Young, who was brought up in Forest Hills and graduated from Queens College in 1982, found in his research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine that women experienced more pain in the World Trade Center disaster than men.
"This conclusion is consistent with previous findings that women experience pain differently than men," Young said. "It follows that they also require different treatment for pain management."
Youngs book is critical of male physicians. He urges male doctors to tailor their therapies to take into account the differences between the sexes. He advises them to use traditional approaches along with proven alternative techniques.
"Put simply," Young said, "women are not small men. They have their own pain thermostats."
Claims that womens pain is "all in their heads is patently untrue," he said.
Youngs research shows that the sexes react differently to various treatments. He said that women respond more than men to morphine-like opiates, but less to common painkillers like ibuprofen.
And when they do receive treatment, women are often given short shrift. Doctors and nurses have long tended to undertreat pain, perhaps because some of the drugs used are addictive.
But in a study of cancer patients, women got even less medication than men.
Despite all this, women in pain cope admirably, making them "heroes, not hypochondriacs or hysterics," said Young.
He cites a 48-year-old woman who complained of head, back and neck pain that eventually spread to a knee. Her doctor blamed sinus problems and migraines.
"But I dont have that," she said. I feel bad because I have all this pain."
She was referred to a pain clinic and after numbing muscle injections, the pain disappeared.
Drawing from his own practice in Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins rehabilitation medicine specialist said conditions afflicting women such as osteoporosis fibromyalgia and migraine headaches cause pain that is agonizing and unceasing, but he finds too often women arent given the help they need.
Young said that one out of five women experience some sort of pain every day and often have to contend with more symptoms than men do for the same ailments.
"In addition," Young said, "male surgeons perform many more operations on womens reproductive organs than they do on those of men."
Young is no stranger to the nations medical publications. The Forest Hills physician is the author of over 70 publications relating to his specialty of rehabilitation medicine and has authored three rehabilitation textbooks, including the award-winning PMR Secrets, which has been translated into several different languages.
His early research during the 1980s focused on hormonal factors, gender and heart disease and bone fracture risk.
From childbirth to menstrual pain to menopause, Youngs book, published by Hyperion 2002, gives women the knowledge they need to control their pain. Moreover, it seeks to empower women to conquer their pain by overcoming attitudes that serve as barriers.
"If doctors dont take your pain seriously," Young said, "then women should become proactive and demand pain relief."

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