- Why chronic pain is such a problem – one that most doctors cannot fix or explain
- This major new research breakthrough is brilliant news.
- Have you seen our People’s Doctor Pain Relief section yet?
Many years ago when I was an adventurous writer in my 20s, I went travelling around South America.
On a trip into the Peruvian jungle our guide took us to a hole beneath a tree, where he coaxed out a tarantula… a big furry legged beast the size of an apple.
“Who wants to hold it?” he said.
Now, I am NOT keen on spiders. Really not very keen at all.
But this was long before I met my wife. There I was, a single man surrounded by a group that included at least two attractive girls I wanted to impress.
So I said, “yes” and before I knew it, the beast was crawling up my arm.
I remember grinning like a buffoon, trying to look brave but secretly terrified it was about to sink its fangs into me.
And yet here I am, almost twenty years later, in the strange position of presenting a tarantula to YOU…
But as a potential cure for your aches and pains.
This is quite amazing…
Major new research breakthrough that could be great news for chronic pain sufferers
At the end of February was the 60th annual meeting of the Biophysical Society in Los Angeles.
There it was announced by a team from the University of Queensland that they’d found a peptide known as ProTx-II in the venom of the Peruvian green velvet tarantula.
Just to explain…
Peptides are chains of amino acids in cells that are even smaller than proteins. This particular peptide, ProTx-II interacts with the pain receptor known as Nav 1.7.
The scientists revealed that they’d worked out how to use a single peptide from the venom to stop a pain receptor in the brain from functioning.
It means that this venom – deadly to the insects the tarantula kills for food – could be the answer to chronic pain problems in human beings.
Yet again, another brilliant breakthrough from the biological world around us.
And look – while I’ve written negative grumpy things about our obsession with “blocking” pain using drugs, this is different.
Well let’s say you have arthritis and you simply block the pain. Does this help alleviate the cause of pain?
But when it comes to chronic pain, quite often the pain is down to a particular diagnosable issue that can be fixed. In many cases, chronic pain can be the body’s reaction to an old injury, an illness or stresses on the body that can’t be tackled directly.
Chronic pain occurs when signals of pain remain active in your nervous system over a long period of time.
So it’s those signals that need to be switched off.
And that’s where a breakthrough like tarantula venom could be so crucial.
You see, chronic pain works like a negative cycle (and if you’re a sufferer, you know what I am talking about).
The feeling of pain causes anxiety, stress, depression, anger, and fatigue that in turn make the chronic pain worse. It can even decrease your levels of natural painkillers and inhibit the immune system.
And yet when you go to the doctor, what happens?
Usually it’s blamed on a strain, or stress, or you’re made to feel like your exaggerating – making a fuss over nothing.
Even when you get the doctor you’re sent for all kinds of tests, costing the NHS money. You might end up in physio or prescribed painkillers… and yet these things don’t work.
At the end, you’re told you have chronic back pain, or chronic IBS or chronic neck pain…
And what does that mean?
It usually means “put up with it”.
It’s a serious issue. A report from 2012 makes is very sobering, read it here.
It shows that 14% of men and 18% of women aged 16-34 experience chronic pain. Amazing when you think how young that group is, and how widespread pain is already.
Then it gets worse…
By the time people reach 75, then 53% or men and 59% of women will have chronic pain.
That’s a lot of sufferers, and a huge strain on the medical system.
In fact pain is one of the most common reasons why people go to their GP and those in chronic pain consult their doctor five times more often than others.
According to the report, this equates to almost 5 million GP appointments a year.
This is serious stuff. So the tarantula venom break-though is really good news. Yes, it will take a while to be developed, but this seems like we’re on the right track and I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for natural ways to reduce the feeling of chronic pain without drugs, then I’d highly recommend you look at this section of our website.
You’ll find the latest MicroCurrent Therapy devices as well as natural balms and joint pain remedies.