Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Pain Relief

Yes, I know this sounds like an album name, but this story has nothing to do with the music group. (Great music, though.) Imagine this: How do you treat an open knee wound during a surgery? Well, you put chemicals in there from chili peppers. No joke. Really..... (Associated Press)
How could something searing possibly soothe? Bite a hot pepper, and after the burn your tongue goes numb. The hope is that bathing surgically exposed nerves in a high enough dose will numb them for weeks, so that patients suffer less pain and require fewer narcotic painkillers as they heal.

"We wanted to exploit this numbness," is how Dr. Eske Aasvang, a pain specialist in Denmark who is testing the substance, puts it.

Chili peppers have been part of folk remedy for centuries, and heat-inducing capsaicin creams are a drugstore staple for aching muscles. But today the spice is hot because of research showing capsaicin targets key pain-sensing cells in a unique way.
Who knew Red Hot Chili Peppers could be so useful? How would you like to be in the research studies for this? Ok, so, what we're going to do is putting a cream on your skin and you tell us how much pain you are in before and after. How about in the operating room? I guess the key is not to spill this stuff on yourself during surgery. Yeaoww!


Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

very cool info Doc...thanks

Dr. Deb said...

MAkes sense to me. I bet there a whole bunch of Shamans and Native Medicine men/women who have a list of similar foods/plants.

therapydoc said...

They're very scary. I'm sorry. About a month ago FD (my family doc spouse) came in from the garden with a burn from handling them and neither of us had a clue what to do.

This is why we have Google. Milk did the job.

Terrific blog, thanks. I'll visit often.

Travis Cody said...

Can you imagine splashing that stuff in your eyes?

But I guess surgeons wear protective eye ware these days.