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    Pain Relief: New approaches to how we live with pain

    enJune 07, 2024

    Podcast Summary

    • Indian Politics, Cat NodThe Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, faces challenges in maintaining democratic structures, while Cat Nod demonstrates resilience and determination in her pursuit of Olympic horseback riding, despite a devastating injury

      The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, holds significant power in Indian politics, but concerns remain about the compromised democratic structures in the country. Meanwhile, in a different context, Cat Nod shares her story of determination and resilience as she pursued her dream of becoming an Olympic horseback rider. Despite being on track to qualify for the 2016 Olympics, she suffered a devastating fall during the cross-country phase, resulting in a broken back. Her recovery was long and painful, but she remained focused on getting back to training and making another run for the Olympics. However, she soon realized that her body was not bouncing back as quickly as she had hoped. In both cases, we see individuals facing significant challenges and persevering in the face of adversity. For Modi, it's the challenge of maintaining India's democratic structures, while for Cat, it's the challenge of recovering from a serious injury to continue her athletic career.

    • Complexity of pain managementThe complexity of pain management requires a shift from one-right-answer approach to recognizing individual differences and providing adequate care and support.

      Pain is a complex experience that can have profound physical and emotional impacts on individuals. The story shared by Cat Nod highlights the importance of being heard and understood when dealing with chronic pain. She felt dismissed by a doctor who failed to provide adequate care and support, leading her to a downward spiral of depression and despair. Pain expert Dr. Amy Baxter emphasizes that pain is a survival system that serves us, but when it ceases to do so, we have the power to ignore it. However, it's crucial to remember that pain affects everyone differently, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The medical profession must move away from a one-right-answer approach and recognize the complexity of pain management. The TED Radio Hour episode explores new understandings about how the brain interprets pain and offers insights into managing pain in the short and long term.

    • Reframing painThe opioid crisis resulted from a misguided focus on pain-free solutions and a need to reframe pain as a messenger rather than a problem to be solved with pills.

      Our approach to treating pain, particularly through the use of opioids, has had devastating consequences. On the Ted Radio Hour, physician and pain expert, Amy Baxter, shares her perspective on how we need to reframe pain as a messenger rather than a problem to be solved with pills. The push for pain-free solutions in the late 90s, fueled by pharmaceutical companies, led to the opioid crisis, which has claimed countless lives. It's important to understand the role of pain in our bodies and to approach it with empathy and a holistic perspective. Instead of striving for pain-free, we should listen to what our pain is telling us and work to address the root causes.

    • Pain Perception and OpioidsOur perception of pain and response to opioids can vary greatly, influenced by genetics and environment. Opioids can initially provide relief but decrease effectiveness over time, leading to dependency and side effects. Pain is complex, involving memories and emotions, so reducing initial sensation and fear can help mitigate it, especially in children.

      Our perception of pain and response to painkillers like opioids can vary greatly from person to person, influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Opioids can initially provide significant relief, but after a few days, their effectiveness decreases as our brains adapt and hide dopamine receptors. This can lead to dependency and increased risk of side effects. Furthermore, pain is not a simple on-off switch, but a complex sensory and emotional experience that can be influenced by our memories and emotions. To mitigate pain, especially in children, it's important to reduce the initial sensation and association with fear. This can be achieved through techniques like using cold or vibration to numb the area before a shot or IV insertion. Ultimately, a better understanding of the nature of pain and its complex relationship with our bodies and minds can help us approach pain relief in more effective and personalized ways.

    • Pain Management TechniquesVibration, ice, and distraction can decrease pain by influencing the nervous system and brain's perception. Finding the right frequency of vibration and using cold or distraction can provide relief.

      Effective pain management involves a multi-faceted approach, combining various physiological interventions and mental distractions. Vibration, ice, and distraction have been scientifically proven to decrease pain by influencing the nervous system and the brain's perception of pain. The exact right frequency of vibration can trigger nerves that decrease pain, while cold and distraction help create a sensation of movement and occupy the decision switchboard, preventing fear and meaning from amplifying pain. Additionally, understanding the role of control and expectation in pain perception can help individuals manage their pain more effectively. Pain is a complex phenomenon, and it's essential to explore various options and find what works best for each individual. The key is to remember that there's always another option to try.

    • Opioid alternatives for pain managementExplore alternatives like vibration therapy, ice packs, ibuprofen, and social support for pain management. Be aware of potential risks of opioids, especially after surgeries. Address muscle damage and fatty changes in chronic pain through specific frequencies and exercises.

      Dealing with pain, whether acute or chronic, requires a multifaceted approach and not just relying on opioids. The speaker emphasized the importance of being aware of the potential risks of opioids, especially after surgeries, and exploring alternative options like vibration therapy, ice packs, ibuprofen, and even social support. She also highlighted the issue of muscle damage and fatty changes in chronic pain, which can be addressed through specific frequencies and exercises. It's important to note that there's no one-size-fits-all solution, and managing pain is an ongoing process that requires commitment and effort. The speaker also shared a personal story of a friend's son who became addicted to opioids after surgery and later overdosed, emphasizing the need for better education and communication between patients and healthcare providers about pain management options.

    • Holistic pain managementAddressing mental and emotional aspects of pain is crucial for effective pain management. Holistic care in hospitals, including life care specialists, can provide education, non-narcotic techniques, and emotional support to prevent addiction and suffering.

      Addressing the mental and emotional aspects of pain management is just as important as physical treatment. The story of Cammy Wolf Rice's experience with her late son's addiction to pain medication after a surgery highlights the need for holistic care in hospitals. Life care specialists, who act as pain coaches or "listeners," can make a significant difference by educating patients about their medication, providing non-narcotic pain management techniques, and offering emotional support. By acknowledging the prevalence of addiction and destigmatizing discussions around it, we can save lives and prevent unnecessary suffering. Katnod's journey with chronic pain also emphasizes the importance of mental control and finding joy in life despite pain. The complex nature of chronic pain requires a multifaceted approach, treating both the physical and emotional aspects.

    • Recovery and GrowthChoosing commitment to recovery and growth over giving up, using natural methods to alleviate pain, and the therapeutic value of riding horses for mental and emotional well-being.

      When faced with physical challenges and pain, Katnaud chose to commit to her recovery and growth rather than giving up. She emphasized the importance of finding natural methods to support her body and alleviate inflammation and pain, and emphasized the therapeutic value of riding horses for her mental and emotional well-being. Despite the physical discomfort, she views riding as a worthwhile pursuit and a path towards her goal of competing at the Olympics. Through her experiences, she has come out stronger and more knowledgeable than before her injury.

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