Gender-Related Psychoendocrine Coping Mechanisms of Back Pain Patients

  • Markku T. Hyyppä
Conference paper


Chronic pain is an experience of various negative and stressful feelings. In our earlier studies1,2 we confirmed sex differences in the expression of pain emotions, i.e. women expressed their negative feelings more openly than men did3,4. Brain monoamine metabolites (5-hydroxy-indoleacetic acid, homovanillic acid and methoxy-4 hydroxyphenylglycol) and serotonin precursor, tryptophan in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) did not differentiate women from men5, while stress hormones (Cortisol and prolactin) either in the blood or in the CSF were associated with sex2. This led us to search for the possible “female” strategy of coping with mental strain.


Prolactin Level Serum Cortisol Homovanillic Acid Plasma Cortisol Concentration Pain Emotion 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Markku T. Hyyppä
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychosomatic Unit, Social Insurance InstitutionRehabilitation Research CenterTurkuFinland

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