Using anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids to relieve pain could increase the chances of developing chronic pain, according to researchers from McGill University and colleagues in Italy. Neuroscience News reports: Their research puts into question conventional practices used to alleviate pain. Normal recovery from a painful injury involves inflammation and blocking that inflammation with drugs could lead to harder-to-treat pain. [...] In the study published in Science Translational Medicine, the researchers examined the mechanisms of pain in both humans and mice. They found that neutrophils -- a type of white blood cell that helps the body fight infection -- play a key role in resolving pain. Experimentally blocking neutrophils in mice prolonged the pain up to ten times the normal duration. Treating the pain with anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids like dexamethasone and diclofenac also produced the same result, although they were effective against pain early on. These findings are also supported by a separate analysis of 500,000 people in the United Kingdom that showed that those taking anti-inflammatory drugs to treat their pain were more likely to have pain two to ten years later, an effect not seen in people taking acetaminophen or anti-depressants. "Our findings suggest it may be time to reconsider the way we treat acute pain. Luckily pain can be killed in other ways that don't involve interfering with inflammation," says Massimo Allegri, a Physician at the Policlinico of Monza Hospital in Italy and Ensemble Hospitalier de la Cote in Switzerland.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Read the whole story