A recent experiment has shed more light on the concept of human body’s natural pain relief system. Scientist have analyzed the activity of chemicals in the brains of study participants who were subjected to sustained pain and have come to new concepts of subjective pain sensations and how the body deals with pain.
The results of the study have confirmed that there’s a connection between what people feel when experiencing pain and what happens with their brain chemical balance at the same time. This will definitely help find better pain relief solutions in the future as the concept of pain itself gains new dimensions of understanding. Researchers have indicated the crucial role of endorphins (naturally produced opioids) in blocking certain receptors in the brain and thus restricting pain signals from spreading throughout the system.
Duding the test the subject had to sustain 20 minutes of jaw muscle pain. The readings of brain chemical activity indicated an increased production of endorphins with the start of pain sensations. And when the substance was in abundance the subject reported decline in unpleasant sensations of pain, saying it has become less intense than previously.
The regions in the brain that were already known for their role in emotional and affective responses have indicated the largest increased in endorphin production. This fact gives scientists a better understanding of how brain chemistry and emotional behavior are closely related.
Endorphins being quite similar to synthetic opioids such as Tramadol target special types of mu opioid receptors in the brain and thus block pain signals. But the distribution of these receptors in the brain also plays an important role in subjective pain sensations and the effect we know as the pain threshold.
Researchers have found that the highest concentration of mu opioid receptors is found in the exact areas of the brain that are responsible for emotions and feelings.
More interesting discoveries were made when comparing the chemical activity between different test subjects. Having individual peculiarities in location and concentration of pain-receiving mu opioid receptors, test participants have also displayed various levels of endorphin production, which was directly related to pain ratings they have reported. If some people have rated their pain sensations as low with abundant production of chemicals that delivered nearly the same results as painkiller medications like Tramadol hcl, others had very strong pain sensations due to the low levels of endorphins produced in the brain. This explains the difference in natural pain threshold level each of us has.
Does this mean that we don’t have to buy Tramadol anymore and have to rely on our natural painkiller system? Of course, no. There are different types of pain that are very hard to withstand even if you have a high level of pain tolerance.
However, this study will definitely help scientists understand the effects of the natural pain-relief system and improve painkiller medications in order to gain better effectiveness without competing the natural abilities of the body to control pain sensations. Who knows, maybe there won’t be a need in medications at all if we learn how to control our own abilities. But until then we will still use drugs to make the pain go away.