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What is new in pain control?
Dr. Kukurin

Some new thoughts are emerging on pain control that are good news for people who are suffering from neuropathy, spinal stenosis, sciatica, migraines and other chronic pain syndromes. Traditionally, pain has been controlled by blocking the pain related pathways in the nervous system with drugs or by attempting to physically disrupt those pathways through what is known as ablation. In general, these ablative procedures seek to reduce the body's ability to transmit pain signals from the periphery to the brain. However, as our understanding of the nervous system increases, a new concept of pain management is emerging. We now know that there are two pain related circuits in the human body. One of those circuits is responsible for carrying pain signals to the brain and is the target of most conventional pain treatments. A newly discovered circuit can internally block the pain circuit. This newly discovered innate pain blocking pathway offers an entirely new approach to pain management. So pain can be managed by blocking the first pathway or with the newer approaches, reduced by stimulating the second pathway. This new concept is known as stimulation induced analgesia. This means rather than trying to block or destroy the pain pathways, treatment seeks to stimulate the internal pain blocking pathways. Scientists believe they have discovered the mechanisms of stimulation induced analgesia. We know the body has its own morphine, serotonin, GABA and all the other chemicals it needs to block pain. Stimulation induced analgesia is believed to raise levels of naturally occurring pain killers in the brain and spinal cord. In fact, many researchers call the nervous system the greatest drugstore in the world. So the question becomes, how do we access and activate these available pain suppressing pathways? There are stimulation techniques known as Direct Current Brain stimulation, Transcutaneous Vagal Nerve stimulation, Galvanic Vestibular stimulation and Cranial Nerve Neuromodulation techniques that research has shown can activate the body's own pain relieving pathways. Often, these gentle procedures will activate the right pain suppressing pathway at just the right time, producing amazing and long lasting pain relief for patients.

George W. Kukurin DC DACAN, Kukurin Chiropractic, Acupuncture & Nutrition, can be reached at (412) 381-4453 or visit www.alt-compmed.com.

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