Pain Relief Without the Use of Drugs

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Placebos diminish the pain by creating a probability of relief. Distractions like playing puzzle, relives the brain by keeping it busy. But the question is that do they make use of the similar brain processes. Neuromaging recommend that they do. While applying the placebo, the doctors discovered some movement in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This is the part of brain which regulates high level function of cognition such as attention and working memory – these are used by individuals to do the puzzle game. Recently a new study challenged the theory that the placebo impacts the high level cognitive function.

Pain Relief Foundation says that “Acute pain is the body’s alarm system. It signals that something is wrong. It signals that you are in danger of injury or that the injured part needs to be protected and rested. Chronic pain serves no useful purpose and may cause disability and distress to sufferers and their families. Estimates of the number of people with chronic pain vary from 8% to 45% depending on severity and whether medical help is sought. Chronic pain is more common in women and in the elderly. Many types of chronic pain have been identified. However some people with chronic pain do not have a diagnosis from their doctor. The Pain Relief Foundation funds research into the causes and treatment of chronic pain.”

The authors suggested that pain can be reduced in two ways, either by a complex memory task or by giving the individuals placebo. But when the authors put both these things together “the level of pain reduction which the individuals experienced augmented and there was no interference between them”. This recommended that they rely on the segregated mechanism. The results then got printed in a periodical of Psychological Science which could assist the clinicians maximize the pain relief without giving much drugs. In a study, 33 individuals participated and they came for three different sessions. Some participants were applied with ordinary hand cream, regular hand cream and many with heat using metal plates.

These participants then faced the trials of placebo and then they were asked to face memory tasks. The results were that when the individuals were involved in the memory task or the placebo test, they experienced less pain than other trials. When the two effects were added up they did not interfere or interact with each other. This recommended that the placebo impact does not need working memory or executive attention. Bhule says that though neuromaging is great, this research tested the theory as how the placebos function with the direct behavioral observation.




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