A new study has pinpointed what causes acute pain to turn into chronic pain. Researchers from the University of California discovered a molecular mechanism is in control of the transition. So, what does this mean for those living with chronic pain and why are the findings important?
What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that isn’t widely understood. It is classified as pain that lasts for longer than 12 weeks, and it can greatly interfere with a patient’s ability to carry out everyday activities. Many people who suffer with chronic pain also have trouble sleeping and experience mental health issues.
Often, the condition is brought on after an injury. However, sometimes there is no clear cause. It can affect people of all ages and it isn’t possible to predict whose pain will develop into chronic pain. Up until now, there has been little known about what triggers chronic pain to develop.
What did the new study find?
The findings of the latest study have been published within Science Advances. It showed that the intracellular enzyme known as N-acylethanolamine acid amidase (NAAA), signals the transition to chronic pain.
A significant finding was that this signalling could be reversed. By disabling the NAAA enzyme within 72 hours after tissue injury, chronic pain didn’t develop. However, so far, the studies have been carried out on mice. Further studies will need to be carried out on humans to establish if the same molecular process takes place.
While additional research does need to be carried out, these latest findings do provide a better understanding of chronic pain and what triggers the condition. This in turn can help scientists develop new potential treatments for chronic pain.
Treating chronic pain
We may be a long way off developing chronic pain treatments that can prevent it developing. However, there are treatments available to those who are suffering now.
MBST is one of the newer chronic pain treatments developed. It stimulates several biophysical processes, while also delivering pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory benefits. The treatment utilises MRI technology, only it stimulates the body’s natural healing processes rather than scans it.
This non-invasive therapy has no known side effects and has been used to treat MSK conditions since 1998. This is because it utilises the body’s own electromagnetic energy. It has been scientifically proven to activate the cells responsible for the production of bone and cartilage.
If you are struggling with the everyday impact of chronic pain, book a consultation today. MBST isn’t suitable for everyone, but it can greatly help to reduce the symptoms of chronic pain. During your consultation it will be determined whether you are an ideal candidate and whether MBST is the best course of treatment moving forward.