Pain therapy throughout the ages

The efforts against human pain are such old as human beings and they have been affected by cultural, religious and social factors. Initially, magic spells were the main therapeutical way. Mesopotamians and Egyptians were using opium, mandrake, hyoskyamus and nightshade. Homer describes the surgery and pharmacology of that period, when opium has many references, something which also happens during Hippocratic period, when there were discovered the analgesic properties of the willow tree. During Greek-Roman period and Middle Ages, a mixture called “theriaca” was considered to be a panacea. Around 12th– 13th century p.C. Arabs were using the sopo rific sponge. During the 18th and 19th century, the discovery and use of nitrous oxide has been followed by the use of the ether and the chloroform. The next steps in history οf pain therapy are the invention of aspirin, the isolation of morphine and the local anesthesia. Nowadays, pain is considered to be a multidisciplinary problem and usually, the main therapeutic strategies are focused on the relief of chronic pain. For this purpose, there have been developed many specialized “pain clinics” and different health professionals, such as doctors, nurses, psychologists or physical therapists, have as their orientation the effective management of pain.

Category: Volume 47, N 1
Hits: 232 Hits
Created Date: 15-03-2008
Authors: Frixos Tachias , Georgios Papadopoulos