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Airing Pain 33: Gender and Communication

How gen­der can influ­ence expe­ri­ences of pain, and liv­ing with clus­ter headaches

This pro­gramme was fund­ed by an edu­ca­tion­al grant from Pfizer.

We hear about oro­fa­cial pain (pain of the face and mouth) from Dr Bar­ry Sessle, a pro­fes­sor in the Fac­ul­ty of Den­tistry at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to in Cana­da. Dr Sessle also explains why some types of chron­ic pain are more com­mon in women than men. Con­tin­u­ing with this top­ic, clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist Dr Aman­da Williams talks about pelvic pain and the dif­fi­cul­ties men in par­tic­u­lar have in com­ing for­ward to seek treatment.

The Inter­na­tion­al Asso­ci­a­tion for the Study of Pain des­ig­nat­ed 2012 as the Glob­al Year Against Headache. We speak with a hus­band and wife on how they man­age as a cou­ple to live with hus­band Phil’s debil­i­tat­ing clus­ter headaches.

Issues cov­ered in this pro­gramme include: Gen­der, pain per­cep­tion, migraines, clus­ter headaches, pelvic pain, oro­fa­cial pain, sex dif­fer­ences, women’s pain, men’s pain, uro­gen­i­tal pain, soci­ety, com­mu­ni­cat­ing pain, breast can­cer, prostate can­cer, brain sig­nals, throb­bing pain, burn­ing pain, nerve block­er and relationships.


  • Dr Bar­ry Sessle, Pro­fes­sor in the Fac­ul­ty of Den­tistry at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto
  • Dr Aman­da Williams, clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist, Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege London
  • Phil and Sue O’Brien, liv­ing with clus­ter headaches.


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