The Future of Pain Research

Pain research is continuously being developed and further researched. Once scientists and doctors realized that chronic pain was not just a continuation of acute pain, concentrated research has persisted to grow in order to better treat people who suffer from the disease.  The future of pain research has many practices in order to specialize for the best treatment for each individual patient. To better understand and learn what doctors and researches are working on, Southwest Spine and Pain Center has provided a list of some detailed studies currently being explored.

Morphine is commonly used in doctor’s offices and hospitals to lessen pain for patients. This medication has sparked vast interest and research in pain. Morphine prevents pain messages from temporarily reaching the brain. Scientists like the idea of morphine and are hoping to create a drug similar to it. They need to eliminate the negative side effects that morphine brings such as sedation and its potential for addiction. Patients who continuously use morphine also develop a tolerance and require higher doses after a period of time. Scientists are also working to stabilize medication intake for the entirety of the patients’ use.

While scientists devote efforts to morphine research, new drug targets are also being investigated. One research plan looks into ‘channels’. Channels are passageways along the membrane of cells. They allow ions to pass through, which send messages through the nerve’s membrane. Doctors and investigators wish to develop a medicine that blocks pain signals along these channels. One of the core objectives of scientists and researches is the development of pain medications that manipulates pain signals. This becomes harder to work with when there is no injury or trauma to the tissue.

Imaging technologies are already used for treatment of pain and remain a fundamental part of pain research. Positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are among the technologies used to illustrate images of the pain processes in the brain. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke found that patients who were hypnotized had pain areas reduced. This test showed researches that pain is not only a sensory experience, but an emotional one as well.

Pain research further involves studies in trophic factors, molecular genetics, and plasticity. Pain has evolved immensely overtime and efforts are made to understand and control the disease. For more information, schedule an appointment with your doctor and continue to stay up-to-date with pain research developments. 

If chronic pain is impacting your life, don't wait to schedule an appointment at Southwest Spine and Pain Center. With three locations and growing, the pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center are dedicated to helping those who suffer from chronic pain live the life they want to! To schedule an appointment, visit our locations tab!

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

©Southwest Spine and Pain Center, 2013

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