Monday, February 18, 2013

The Global Market for Pain Management Drugs and Devices

Some of the earliest pain management was recorded on stone tablets. The early records of treatment describe sun, pressure, herbs, rituals, shamans, priests, and heat. Religious leaders were summoned to provide relief because the presence of evil was considered a cause of pain. One method to manage pain, acupressure, has been practiced in China for more than 2,000 years and uses the application of pressure on specific pressure points.
The Greeks and Romans are considered the early developers of the theory of pain sensation and the nervous system. Later, in the 17th and 18th centuries, more theories were developed, including one that was more advanced by French philosopher Descartes.
In the 19th century, medical doctors discovered that pain could be treated with opium, cocaine, morphine, and other drugs. This made way for the development of more common drugs such as aspirin.
Every person experiences pain in one form or another during his or her lifetime. Pain is an unpleasant sensation that indicates an injury or possible wound. It can be dull, sharp, nauseating, burning, continuous, or throbbing, depending on the type of wound or injury. For some, pain might be associated with an injury, surgery, or infection, while in many cases, it’s the symptom of another disorder; and even after the disorder is treated, pain remains in some form.
The treatment of pain has evolved since antiquity, when grasses and herbs were used for relief. Currently, medicines help patients to overcome pain. The most common types of medicine for pain management are aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen. These medications are available as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and for anyone who suffers from mild pain, one of them is typically the first resort. As the severity and duration of pain increases, physicians prescribe medications according to the cause, symptoms, and response of the patient. Medical devices also play key roles in pain treatment and management, along with adjuvant methods such as massage, acupressure, acupuncture, lasers, and hypnosis. Though not considered a singular method of treatment, each alternate technique is pursued along with medications.
In pain management, certain classes of drugs have proven to be very effective.  Some of these classes are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as opioids (which are actually narcotics used for medical treatment), anticonvulsants (anti-epilepsy drugs), and antidepressants. In addition to these, there are many other classes of drugs that have been utilized successfully in pain management.

The above is an extract from the BCC Research report, The Global Market for Pain Management Drugs and Devices (HLC026D). To download the complimentary first chapter, please click here.

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