Does Back Pain Differ in Men and Women?

A recent research project sent out surveys to health care providers who treat back pain. The aim of this study was to compare how men and woman perceive and suffer back pain. It wanted to know why they get back pain, what they do about it and who suffers the pain worse. Since back pain is considered one of the most common problems suffered by Americans it was hoped that this study might shed more light on the differences between the sexes. There are believed to be major differences on the causes and the cures when it comes to women and men who have back pain. They were out to demonstrate that belief.

The first finding was that forty seven percent of men blame their jobs for their backaches while thirty-seven percent of women blame household activities including housework and caring for their children. Men still do far less of the household activities and almost never blame something they were doing around the house when they see their health care provider because of back pain. No matter what the cause of back injury it is likely that ninety percent of those hurt will recover in less than six weeks.

Men report that their other back injury source is sports. Forty six percent injure themselves weightlifting, eighteen percent from playing golf, ten percent from basketball and nine percent from playing contact sports like football, with the remaining seventeen percent being divided between other common sports activities. For women it’s a little different. Thirty seven percent of them feel that their sports injuries, and so the back pain they are suffering from, comes from running. Tennis is the culprit fifteen percent of the time while weightlifting is cited as the problem in fourteen percent of cases reported.

Men are more likely to wait longer to go to their health care provider. Women will go to get treatment faster and be more likely to follow the doctor’s recommendations. Physicians feel that overall those suffering from acute back pain, meaning it will go away in no more than six weeks and is not as likely to reoccur soon, wait much too long before seeking medical attention.

Thirty six percent of back pain sufferers, whether male of female, will see their health care providers four or more times a year because of back pain. Forty percent will seek treatment one to three times yearly. Though they claim that fifty eight percent of those who come to them with back pain, and here the gender of the patient also does not seem to matter, will have no further problems with their backs after this initial treatment. More men are likely to describe their pain in terms of severe and so need time off work, even if it is just a few days, then their female counterparts. Of the health care providers surveyed fifty eight percent prescribed a muscle relaxant in the belief that this will speed up the recovery period for both their male and female patients.