Opiates to eliminate chronic pain

Ran across the following article.  The idea to use this for pain that is more than would be expected for the problem, or RSD (CRPS) is good.  As an alternative practioner who can get to the cause and fix it, I would rather do that.  It seems to me that since pain is the body’s message that something needs to be fixed, that even if you got rid of the pain with this technique, it would only be temporary until you fix the problem.

 Brief Opioid Therapy May Eliminate Chronic Pain

According to team leaders, Ruth Drdla-Schutting and Jürgen Sandkühler along with their research team at the MedUni Vienna’s Department of Neurophysiology (Centre for Brain Research); opioids can be used for more than temporary pain relief. Apparently, a strong enough dose can actually erase our memory traces of pain in the spinal cord.

At the most basic level, opioids bind to specific sites, called µ-opiate receptors (MOR), which suppresses the stimulation of pain. Characteristically, opioids are only known to alleviate pain while bound to these sites, therefore once treatment is ceased, pain resumes.

Typically, for chronic pain, opioids are administered continuously in moderate doses in order to achieve a permanent binding. This method may result in pain relief, however the treatment is long-term and the cause of pain cannot be eliminated.

To test their theory, that memory traces of pain can be erased with a large enough dose of opioids over a short period, “scientists recreated a surgical procedure in vivo in which pain fibres were stimulated under controlled conditions”.

“Although deep anaesthesia prevents any sensations of pain, we were able to reserve long-term synaptic potentiation in the spinal cord. Despite anaesthesia, there appears to be a memory trace for pain and a pain amplifier has engaged.”

“Long-term potentiation (LTP) is a long-lasting enhancement in signal transmission between two neurons that results from stimulating them synchronously.”

Researchers administered high doses of intravenous opioids over a period of an hour and discovered that this completely removed the long-term potentiation. By doing so, this can reverse the cellular changes that cause pain memories. As such, this could actually rid the memory of the sensation that pain is amplified and longer lasting than in actuality and avoid the development chronic pain syndrome.

If proven to be an effective method of treatment, this could mean more than pain management for many people suffering with chronic pain. Current methods temporarily relieve symptoms of pain and typically require long-term opioid use. This type of treatment could greatly reduce the risk of a rapidly growing form of addiction.


  1. I have Fibromyalgia, Severe Arthritis and Peripheral Nuropathy. I tend to disagree with the fact that opiates are not a good treatment for pain. I have had about thirty doctors give up on trying to stop my pain. I’ve had neuro implants, enough pills that never helped to fill several Olympic size swimming pools and the only thing that has helped me so far has been the opiates. I don’t take them because I cannot stand being out of control. I’m not a control freak by any stretch of the imagination, but I want control of my body and my situations. I imagine it won’t be long before I have to go back on the opiates as the pain is getting to the point where it is almost unbearable. But at least there is a choice out there that can help me live at least a semi productive life. I’m 68 years old and mistreated my body severely for about thirty years. Jumping out of air planes loaded with combat equipment, eight tours in Vietnam, and all kinds of things like that. Plus playing football, boxing as a middleweight, wrestling, and most of the other things one shouldn’t do. Now I’m paying the price for living an interesting life.

    • I totally agree with you. For many fibro patients, opiates are all that help. I am impressed that you have avoided them as much as you have. Fibro is a condition that can be cured, however. Have you seen my web site? http://www.lindacheekmd.com. Fibromyalgia is basically a buildup of toxins in the body until the toxins outnumber the “self” and the immune system attacks the cell thinking it is a foreign object. By removing the toxins from the cells, restoring the enzyme systems, and getting rid of the dysbiosis, fibromyalgia can be cured. Arthritis needs prolotherapy. Check it out as well. Good luck to you and I hope to hear more from you in the future.

      • I will take a look at it, but I have little or no immune system. Back in Vietnam I took a piece of shrapnel under my chin and up into the space between the halves of the brain sit. It was a 12″ piece of como wire. It went through my Pituitary gland like spearing an olive out of a martini glass. That was in 1968. Back then they didn’t have much of an idea what the Pituitary Gland did. Anyway, mine slowly started to wither away. In 1995 I stood 5’9″ tall, weighed 200 pounds, had a 54″ chest and a 32″ waist. I ran five miles every day and swam two more every day. See, I’m a retired Navy SEAL.

        In 1996 I weighed 250 pounds, stand 5’6″ tall, have a 44 inch chest and a 40″ waist. I could barely walk and darned sure couldn’t exercise. Doctor after doctor gave up on me. Neurologists, even a couple of witch doctors and a Shaman. My personal doctor gave me two weeks to live. He didn’t tell me that but he did tell my wife.

        I went to see one last neurologist and he did a spinal tap. He found a trace of an infection and decided to send me to a Endocrinologist who ran a dozen tests and said I will let you know when I find something out. Two days later he called me and told me to get into see him that afternoon. At this point I was in a wheel chair and had to have help to do most anything. I was ready to give up and had already made my peace with the lord.

        I went in and the first thing he did was give me a whopping big shot of growth hormone and tell me I was one of the luckiest people he had ever met. I should be dead. No Pituitary Gland was his explanation. A few days later I was out of the wheel chair and able to get around. Now, I do pretty good except for the three things I have wrong. I’m back to a 34″ waist, a 48″ chest and 200 pounds again. The problem is I still cannot exercise. So I am more blubber than muscle.

        I’m not complaining, I just don’t tend to get to excited about cures and such as I have tried everything I come across and have not had any success with any, so far. That’s not to say there isn’t something right around the corner that will do the trick. I’m just struggling to get to that corner.

        Thanks for your response.
        Duke Davis

      • Yes, Duke, you are lucky to be alive. And I hope you realize that God had a purpose for you to save you. Hopefully you are achieving the purpose he has for you. I don’t want you to think that I am offering magic “cure alls” like the snake oil vendors of yester year. Cleansing is a lifestyle. We can just help it along with remedies and HMF. As a practitioner who knows the benefits, I just feel obligated to let people know there is a choice. Then it’s up to the person. I am a believer in the spirit being the decider in the healing, so there is no judgement about the choice the person takes. A good life to you.

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