The Discrimination in Your Doctor's Office

Women ache more often than men, but guys get better pain relief from doctors. What’s going on? And what can you do about it?

By Alice Lesch Kelly
dr doctor pain discrimination hand prescription Rx
Photograph: Oleg Prikhodko

Describing your pain precisely rather than generally can go a long way toward getting you the treatment you need. Try characterizing your experience in the following terms, which have definitions that are understood by doctors.

Throbbing Pain: Pulsating or pounding

  • Sharp Pain: Sudden, abrupt and intense
  • Breakthrough Pain: Happens while your medication is supposed to be in effect
  • Shooting Pain: Sharp and radiating
  • Persistent Pain: Lasts 12 hours or more every day
  • Burning Pain: Fiery or inflamed
  • Achy Pain: Dull and persistent
  • Intermittent Pain: Comes and goes, sometimes in waves or patterns
  • Crushing Pain: Intense pressure or heaviness
  • Flaring Pain: Occurs suddenly, without any apparent trigger

Need more guidance?
The following organizations offer education, support, provider directories and other helpful information for women in pain.

American Pain Foundation
American Pain Society
American Chronic Pain Association
National Pain Foundation
For Grace

Originally published in the April 2011 issue of More.

NEXT: Foods That Fight Pain

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First Published March 21, 2011

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