If you’ve ever accidentally burned or cut yourself, you understand the resulting pain that is oftentimes unbearable. It is important for your body to be able to experience pain otherwise you wouldn’t realize that all your fingers have been cut off from dicing onions. However, in cases such as recovering from medical treatment, pain is often seen as causing more harm than good. Pain gives medical patients unnecessary suffering. To combat this, drugs specifically designed for relieving pain have been manufactured, but they do come with side effects. As a result, the current methods for pain relief can certainly be improved upon.
Image source: Peter Dazeley
Fortunately, researchers from Saint Louis University have discovered that by turning on a specific receptor located in the brain and spinal cord, pain can be prevented. They activated this A3 receptor in rodents and found that the pain that had developed in these rodents prior to activation of this receptor was reversed.
In the US alone, providing pain relief costs billions of dollars. As a result, using this discovery to find a better and cheaper method not only makes the lives of patients easier, but also relieves economical burdens. The researchers believe their discovery to be promising, but further research needs to be done to identify any negative effects that may result from using this new method.
Feature Image Source: Pain! by Harald