eli5 Why are there still no permanent analgesics or similar?


How come with all the advancements we have today there are still no permanent treatments for pain?

In: Chemistry

A few different reasons, but the most important of them being that pain is a very important physiological indicator that something is wrong. It’s difficult to block chronic pain signals without also blocking acute pain signals, and blocking those acute pain signals can lead people to not seek help for an ailment because they’re unaware of it. The other reason being that the body adapts very well to change. New blood vessels grow, cells can grow and lose receptors, and so on. There’s not much we can do in terms of pain management long-term that the body couldn’t compensate to undo.

Not a doctor. I’d imagine it’s because your liver is incredibly good at dealing with toxins. Nearly all medicines are poisonous the only thing that separates them from medicinal purposes and poisons is dose. Inventing something that you take orally or intravenously that doesn’t get filtered out is incredibly hard. There are devices such as TENS machines that work externally using small amounts of electrical energy to ease pain via induction. Most often used in pregnancy where’s it’s undesirable to have anything in the bloodstream that could affect the baby. But even those require new batteries regularly.

Leprosy is a permanent analgesic and any other one would have a similar effect. If you can’t feel pain, you don’t know you are hurting yourself and that damage will accumulate.

One reason is that your body gets used to it and it may just cancel it out.

Another is that your liver will always get rid of all substances in your blood, so whatever drug you take will be destroyed sooner or later.

Last, for practicality: I personally did skateboard and snowboard very frequently for some years. I got so used to get hurt that my body was masking it out, almost completely. It’s not nice. I prefer the pain. It’s difficult to explain how it feels, but imagine you fall on your back from a jump 15 meter long and 6 meters high, and you feel nothing. And you stay there on the ground trying to guess if you are hurt or not and where, you are sure to have taken a big hit but you have no clue how bad it is. it’s an awful feeling.