Women`s chronic pain more complex and severe than men`s

Melbourne: Experts have claimed that women's chronic pain is more complex and harder to treat than chronic pain in men.

This means gender-specific drugs and treatment methods are needed, according to leading Australian neuroscientist Dr Mark Hutchinson from the school of medical sciences at the University of Adelaide.

Although his work is on laboratory rodents at this stage, he said that these studies certainly show that women's experience of pain is more severe.

Dr Hutchinson, who will present his finding at a Faculty of Pain Medicine (FPM) meeting in Sydney, said that there are fundamental differences in the experience.

The focus of his work is to understand why acute pain turns to longer-term pain in some people and why this is more prevalent in women than in men.

His laboratory work has established for the first time that the brain's immune cells, known as glial cells, contribute to differences in pain between the sexes.

He said that understanding female chronic pain is profoundly important to treatment methods.

There are already some drugs for inflammatory bowel disease which work only on women.