You are here

Effect of gender differences on pain parameters and galvanic skin resistance in response to acute cold pain

Effect of gender differences on pain parameters and galvanic skin resistance in response to acute cold pain

Journal Name:

Publication Year:

Abstract (2. Language): 
Introduction: Pain is complex neuro-physiological and psychological process. Several animal studies have also shown an association between pain parameters, galvanic skin resistance and gender. The present study was planned to study and compare pain threshold, pain tolerance and galvanic skin resistance in male and females. Methods and Material: Our study was a cross sectional study with the sample size of 100 including 50 male and 50 female from first MBBS students. Acute cold pain was induced by cold pressor test. Pain threshold was measured as the time interval between exposure to painful stimulus and first reporting of pain sensation by the subject. Pain tolerance was measured as the time interval between exposure of painful stimulus and withdrawal of hand from water. Change in GSR was recorded by the instrument known as Psychogalvanoscope. Statistical analysis was done by using Paired‘t’ test. Results: Results showed that females have statistically significant lower pain threshold but significantly higher pain tolerance than males (p < 0.05). When we analysed GSR, we found statistically significant fall in GSR and the mean fall in GSR in females (628.5 ± 300.83) was higher than the mean fall in males (457.14 ± 194.99 ). Conclusions: Our GSR findings point towards autonomic adjustments suggesting more of sympathetic over activity during cold induced acute pain. Also from our findings it appears that the sympathetic system is more dominant in females than males.



1. Wolf S, Hardy D J. Studies on pain. Observations on pain
due to local cooling and on factors involved in the “cold
pressor” effect. J Clin Invest 1941;20:521–33.
2. Marin A, Aloisi. Gonadal hormone and sex differences in
pain reactivity.Clinical J Pain 2003;19:168-74.
3. Hallin SW. Six differences in pain perception. Gender
Medicine 2005;2:137- 45.
Indian Journal of Basic & Applied Medical Research; June 2012: Issue-3, Vol.-1, P. 193-198
4. Pednedkar J, Mulgaonkar V.Role of testosterone on pain
threshold in rats.Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 1995;39:423-4.
5. Crafts R A.μ and kappa agonist generally produce greater
analgesia in male rats. Brain Research 1998 ;809:137- 40.
6.Hashami J A, Davis K D . Women experience greater heat
pain adaptation and habituation than men
Pain 2009;145:350-7.
7. Alberto C T.Changes in nociceptive flexion reflex threshold
across the menstrual cycle in healthy women.Psychosomatic
Medicine 2002 ;64:621-6.
8. Hellstrom B, Lundberg U.Pain perception to cold pressor
test during the menstrual cycle in relation to estrogen levels
and comparision with males.Intregative physiol and Behavio
Sci 2000;35:130-9.
9. Chesterton L S , Barlos P.Gender differences in pressure
pain threshold in healthy humans. Pain 2003 ;101:259-66.
10. Dao TT, Le Resche L.Gender differences in pain. J
Orofacial Pain 200;14:165.
11. Koltyn K F, Focht B C.Experimentally induced pain
perception in men and women in morning and evening. Int J
Nurosci 1999;98:1-11.
12.Felligham, Ness.Sex related hormonal influences on pain
and analgesics. Neurosci Biobehavio Rev 2000;24:485 -501.
13. Zeichner A, Coftin M.Sex differences in pain indices,
exercise and use of analgesics.Pshychol Rep 2000;86:129 -
14.Sheffield D,Biles PL,Orom H,Maixner W,Sheps DS. Race
and sex differences in cutaneous pain
perception.Psychosomatic Medicine 62;62:517-523.

Thank you for copying data from