Pain Management Laughing Out Pain


Submitted by: Seomul Evans

The most discouraging aspect of undergoing surgery is having through go through pain in the process. During surgery, pain is intolerable which is why the use of anesthetic is resorted to. After surgery, a barrage of pain killers are then needed to alleviate pain during the recovery period. The downside of using anesthetics is the fact that they are loaded with undesirable side effects. This is why numerous studies on pain management are continuously being conducted in an effort to reduce or minimize the use of anesthetics and to speed up post-operative recovery with the least amount of pain. These studies are directed towards the development of new and alternative techniques of reducing or relieving pain. The research involves revisiting some of the best-known tried and tested remedies and finding out how and, more importantly, why they work. With the aid of new ways to manage pain during surgery, an anesthesiologist will be able to give patients less doses of anesthesia, minimizing its side effects and enabling the patient to fully recover faster.

A look into the adage, “laughter is the best medicine” revealed that there is actually a lot of truth behind it. An experiment established that the degree of pain felt by persons is greatly reduced by laughter. In the experiment, a number of children were made to watch a funny video before, during and after putting their arms in icy cold water. Those who laughed before the experiment experienced significantly less discomfort when they put their arms in the freezing water. Others who watched the video and laughed during the experiment were able to withstand the cold water for a longer time. Was there any scientific explanation to it? Yes, in fact, the experiment showed that laughter prevented or inhibited the release of cortisol, a stress hormone that contributes to the sensation of pain.

Though a much more in-depth study into these findings will be needed to fully understand the relationship between laughter and stress and the link between laughter and pain, persons who are suffering from pain need not wait before starting to laugh a lot more. After all, laughter, unlike other medicines, has definitely no overdose and no negative side effects. Surely, it won’t be long before we start seeing more funny videos being shown in operating rooms and hospital rooms.


Another procedure that researchers are looking into is the use of pain killers before surgery. Studies show that taking pain killers before a person undergoes surgery reduces the amount of anesthetic needed by the patient during the operation itself. The scientific explanation lies on the fact that any trauma such as an incision on the human body creates an involuntary response as part of its natural pain defense mechanism. So even if the person is sedated, the brain continues to send signals to the nerve endings. Nerve endings on the incised part swell and surgery becomes even more painful, thus, the need for a large dose of anesthetics during surgery.

An option that is being looked into in recent studies is the use of pain killers before surgery. The anesthesiologist may administer pain killers a few hours before the actual surgery so that the brain’s signals will be greatly reduced when that first incision is made. By lessening the pain generated by the brain in its unconscious state, the amount of anesthetics needed will also be considerably reduced.

About the Author: Seomul Evans is a senior

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Health care Marketing Consultant

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