Have you ever stubbed your toe so hard you thought it was going to fall off? Or bang your head on something that your curse it for all eternity? Well, one thing when it comes to pain is that although we’ve all felt it, there really is not a way to measure, however that is changing!
According to Daily Mail, American health executives are aiming to develop a device that actually measures a patients pain levels and evaluate the best relief measures. Surely this isn’t something that will be available in homes to measure that stubbed toe pain just yet but is aiming to be available in medical centers, hospitals, and first responder vehicles for the time being.
The current way to measure pain is through questions of whether the sensation is “stabbing or burning,” or estimating the pain on a scale from 1 to 10, says the National Institute of Health. Although this has worked for years and years, the lack of concrete scientific measurement has led to the death of nearly 50,000 people in 2017 alone, therefore, it’s time to truly find a tool to measures the severity of a patients pain and treat it accordingly. Luckily for the world of medicine, that is underway.
The “pain-o-meter” (POM) is a potential answer to improving the study and measure of pain in both acute and chronic pain patients. NIH-funded scientists have already begun studies of brain scans, pupil reactions and other markers of pain in order to achieve a way of “seeing pain” so that it can be better treated. Although the science behind the POM is still in “early-stage research”, researchers are remaining optimistic regarding the development and its future use.
As of now, the devices created have allowed doctors to track pupillary reactions to light or to non-painful stimulation of certain nerve fibers, which ultimately offer a window to pain centers in the brain, allowing medical professionals to distinguish different levels of pain. This innovative device can lead to a massive decrease in deaths due to drug abuse and can allow doctors to truly identify pain levels in patients suffering from arthritis, all the way to a migraine.