The way opioids work on the brain makes finding non-opioid treatments for addiction very challenging.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Two neuroscientists explain the cruel chemistry of opioid addiction and why this crisis could last a lifetime.
The U.S. has the highest daily opioid use rate in the world.
Most countries need to find a happy balance between the American attitude that all pain needs to be cured – and the ethos in other countries that pain is to be endured.
Scientists have taken atomic resolution snapshots of an opioid receptor interacting with a drug. Now they are using these images to design "biased" opioids that block pain without the dangerous side effects.
As doctors have learned more about the types of pain, they can better tailor treatment.
As knowledge of pain and the highly addictive nature of opioids has grown, so has the knowledge grown about pain and its origins. A pain specialist explains the intricacies, and how treatment is changing as a result.
Pain of the sick: ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ by Sir Charles Bell, 1806.
In today's opioid crisis, why are some people with addictions treated with empathy and others with disdain? The answer to that question has roots in the 19th century.
This won’t hurt a bit.
Does your child hate their visits to the pediatrician? Do they psyche themselves into a panic that the shot will hurt? The best strategy to calm an anxious child may be to reframe their expectations.
Every patient is different.
Each person experiences pain differently, depending on his or her genetic makeup. That makes it difficult to figure out what treatments patients need.
Middle-aged and elderly people taking up exercise shouldn't be put off by joint pain. It will pass.
Pain lets us know when there is something wrong, but sometimes our brains can trick us.
Mai Lam/The Conversation NY-BD-CC
Trust Me I’m An Expert: The science of pain.
The Conversation 58.7 MB (download)
Our podcast Trust Me, I'm An Expert, goes beyond the headlines and asks researchers to explain the evidence on issues making news. Today, we're talking pain and what science says about managing it.
When a pain signal gets to the brain, it lets your brain know there’s a big problem so we can respond.
AAP Image/DAN PELED
In short, pain medicine is able to block the processes that cause the feeling of pain. To understand why, you need to know a bit about how pain works.
A South Koren athlete receives acupuncture treatment.
As the Olympics head to the Far East this month, two radically different approaches to training and treating athletes will be on display.
Opioids don’t work for chronic pain, and can make it worse in the long-term.
Australia is facing a critical public health issue of poorly managed pain. The result is more opioid-related deaths than the road toll.
It’s misleading to say that withdrawing codeine-containing products from sale without a prescription will reduce codeine use.
The claim there is no evidence painkillers combined with lower doses of codeine are more effective in treating pain, is misleading. As are others in this debate.
It's a multi-lingual effect.
Crying may not tell the whole story.
We no longer perform surgery on babies without drugs, but a new study shows that we may be underestimating how much pain babies feel when they are under stress.
Symptoms of an illness usually improve the closer a person gets to dying.
Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash
Excruciating pain at the end of life is extremely rare. The evidence shows pain and other symptoms, such as fatigue, insomnia and breathing issues, actually improve as people move closer to death.
Pain is something everyone experiences. This episode of The Anthill podcast explores how and why it works in our brains, what kinds of drugs are being developed to reduce pain, and whether or not robots of the future should be built so that they experience pain.
Detail from a statue of the Virgin Mary cradling the body of Jesus (15th-century Slovenia). For many centuries, the pain that could accompany dying was seen as punishment for sin and ultimately redemptive.
For centuries, in Western societies, 'euthanasia' referred to a pious death, blessed by God. The pain that could accompany dying was seen as ultimately redemptive.
For patients with chronic pain, the answer isn’t simple.
Chris Post/AP Photo
If opioids prevent significant suffering, then the solution to the prescription opioid problem cannot simply be to stop using them.
There are real consequences to ignoring children’s pain in hospital. These include increased sensitivity to pain, abnormal social behaviours when older and higher levels of anxiety before a future procedure.
From broken limbs to blood tests, hospital visits can cause unnecessary pain for children. An emergency care pediatrician offers seven easy strategies for parents to lessen this pain.