Introduction Touch is one of the most essential elements of human development, a profound method of communication, a critical component of the health and growth of infants, and a powerful healing force Bowlby, ; Harlow,; Barnett, Touch has been an essential part of ancient healing practices. In his seminal work, Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin, Ashley Montagu brings together a vast array of studies shedding light on the role of skin and physical touch in human development.
Letters to the Editor: Tennant opens an overdue discussion on the history and future of pain medication alternatives.
By Forest Tennant, MD, DrPH Page 1 of 2 From a purely pharmacologic and physiologic perspective, we really have not had a relatively safe, potent alternative to opioids since the s.
In those early days, doctors at Brompton Hospital in London described the use of opioids, morphine, and heroin, as well as a stimulant known as cocaine, which when combined aka the Brompton cocktail was prescribed to lessen the pain associated with a terminal illness. Yet, a safe and effective option with a unique pharmacologic mechanism that has been right in front of us — oxytocin — has emerged as an excellent pain reliever.
To most, oxytocin is known as the love hormone, as this naturally occurring substance has been recognized for its favorable role in social bonding and sexual pleasure. More recent evidence has focused on the role of oxytocin in protecting the nervous system during times of stress so that individuals remain in place rather than flee.
It is time we herald oxytocin as a very favorable pain management alternative to opioids. Understanding the pain-relieving potency of oxytocin has its basis in our understanding of the maternal bond. Consider the mother and her newborn. Social scientists recognized and demonstrated the function of oxytocin as the natural driver sustaining women through the painful process and suffering of childbirth.
Physicians have sought to ease a difficult labor without hesitation by administering a dose of exogenous oxytocin. In doing so, it seems that the use of oxytocin to produce uterine contractions, induce delivery, and initiate post-birth nurturing has skewed, even limited, the pain management community into viewing it as useful for this singular purpose.
By considering synthetic oxytocin as a one-purpose medication, practitioners have undermined the vast pain-relieving potential of this neurohormone. Basic science as well as clinical experience now supports a clear mechanism for oxytocin as a major, natural pain-reducing agent that is released when a person sustains a fall, experiences a trauma, or suffers from other painful events.
At times of stress or pain, surges of oxytocin are released into the peripheral nervous system as well. There are neuronal projections from the hypothalamus to receptors in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord that function to prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. While administering exogenous oxytocin does not remain in serum longer than a few minutes, it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, enter the spinal fluid, and stimulate multiple receptors long after it is likely to be measurable in the serum.
Dosages of 20 to 80 international units IU will usually lessen chronic pain within five to 15 minutes.
Pain relief may be sustained for two to four hours, while some patients have reported being pain free for as long as six to eight hours. Oxytocin— A multifunctional analgesic for chronic deep tissue pain. Oxytocin in intractable pain patient unresponsive to standard treatments.
Poster presented at the 33rd annual meeting of the American Pain Society. April May 3, Tennant F, Pedersen C. Sublingual oxytocin and ketamine for pain relief.
September 5 — 9, Clin J Pain ;30 5: The effect of intranasal oxytocin administration on acute cold pressor pain: Central oxytocin enhances antinociception in the rat.
The analgesic effect of oxytocin in humans: Oxytocin modulates glutamalergic synaptic transmission between cultured neonatal spinal cord dorsal horn neurons.
Localization of oxytocin binding sites in the thoracic and upper lumbar spinal cord of the adult and postnatal rat: Role of kappa-and delta opioid receptors in the antinociceptive effect of oxytocin in formalin-induced pain response in mice.Introduction.
Touch is one of the most essential elements of human development, a profound method of communication, a critical component of the health and growth of infants, and a powerful healing force (Bowlby, ; Harlow, , ; Barnett, ).
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Ishaque SM, Khosruzzaman SM, Ahmed DS, Sah MP. A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial of a multi-strain probiotic formulation (Bio-Kult®) in the management of diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome.
Management behaviors that foster employee engagement. Experiments show that having a sense of higher purpose stimulates oxytocin production, as does trust. Peer-reviewed evidence-based information in neuroscience research and practice, including psychiatry, neurology, psychology.
Role of oxytocin on stress tolerance. OT was involved in the HPA axis in exerting an anti-stress effect. It was reported that intranasal OT administration attenuated the adreno-cortico-tropic-hormone.
response in monkeys, and centrally administered OT attenuated cortisol secretion in Holstein steers.