What causes pain?
No one completely understands how pain works. Pain is really something you feel in your brain. For example, let's say you hit your finger with a hammer. The part of your finger that is damaged has nerve endings in it. These are little detectors in your joints and your skin that feel things like heat, touch, vibrating, and, of course, big crushing shocks like being hit with a hammer. There are different receptors for each of these types of sensations. The damaged tissue in your finger also releases some chemicals that make those nerve endings register the crushing shock even stronger, like turning up the volume on your stereo so you can hear it better. Some of these chemicals are prostaglandins, and working cells in the damaged tissues make these chemicals using an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2).
There have been chemicals, both natural and synthetic, used for centuries to treat pain. One of the first and most influential physicians, Hippocrates, wrote about a bitter powder extracted from willow bark that could ease aches and pains and reduce fevers as long ago as the fifth century B.C. The active constituent in willow bark is known as salacin. This chemical can be converted (changed) by the body after it is eaten to another chemical, salicyclic acid.
A German man named Hoffmann had arthritis and suffered from living in a great deal of pain from a bad back. His son, German chemist Felix Hoffmann, worked for a chemical company known as Freidrich Bayer & Co. Felix wanted to help his father by developing a chemical that would ease his dad's pain and not irritate the stomach lining. He finished his studies in 1897 and companies have been trying to duplicate and improve on this invention ever since.
Pain Management and the Chemistry Behind It
Pain Rx helps by stopping cells from making prostaglandins. Remember the enzyme, COX-2? It is a protein made by your body's cells whose job is to take the chemicals floating around in your tissues and turn them into prostaglandins. COX-2 can be found in most normal tissues, but much more of it is made in tissue that has been damaged in some way. A recent natural pain management product, called Pain-Rx, sticks to COX-2 and won't let it do its job; it is like a lock you put on your bicycle. The bicycle won't move with the lock on and COX-2 cannot work with Pain-Rx stuck in it. So by taking Pain-Rx, you do not stop the problem that's causing the pain-like the hammer damaged finger, but it does lower the volume on the pain signals getting through your nerves to your brain. By stopping the prostaglandin production, it has effects on pain and inflammation. Many of the over-the-counter drugs on the market today, such as ibuprofen (Motrin® and Advil®), and naproxen (Aleve® and Naprosyn®), have various side effects that are undesirable. Although they have various side effects, over 100 billion tablets are consumed annually. This is a staggering number, if you think about it. This is almost 3 million tablets per day!
Powerful Prescription Opioid Agonists
Over 100 million prescriptions are written each year for prescription opioid agonists such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and hydromorphone. In fact, hydrocodone with acetaminophen was the product with the most prescriptions written in 2004, with 92.7 million prescriptions in America alone. The products are scheduled by the DEA for good reason, as they have a high potential for abuse. Three drugs in particular have come under increased scrutiny for their dangers: 1) Oxycontin® is a powerful opioid agonist that is very powerful and effective if used as directed. Unfortunately, people have figured out a way to destroy the product's controlled-release mechanism, causing all the drugs active components to hit the bloodstream all at once. Thousands of deaths have been blamed and/or linked to misuse of Oxycontin®. 2) Hydromorphone (Palladone®), also marketed by Purdue Pharma L.P., is ten times stronger than morphine! Palladone® was approved by the FDA on September 24, 2004 for the management of persistent, moderate to severe pain. On July 13, 2005, the FDA asked Purdue Pharma to pull the product from the market. The risk cited by the FDA involved a dosage dump - the sudden release of the full strength of a drug designed to be absorbed slowly. This can occur if a patient mixes Palladone ® and alcohol. One drink of alcohol can cause the sustained-release mechanism to be broken down. Even at its lowest marketed dose (12 mg) of Palladone®, the consequences could lead to serious, or even fatal, adverse events. This product was pulled off the market less than a year after being approved by the FDA. 3) Fentanyl Patch - The FDA issued a Public Health Advisory regarding the safe use of transdermal fentanyl patches in response to 120 deaths in patients using this potent narcotic medication for pain management. As of the time of this writing, they do not know if it relates to inappropriate use of the patch or factors related to the quality of the product.
These analgesic pain relieving narcotics and opioid agonists are very effective when used as directed, but unfortunately they seem to be causing way too many deaths and addictions to support their continued widespread usage. Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Norcross, GA, and Pharmatech Limited in Belize recently developed the first natural alternative to OTC and prescription pain relievers. Pain-Rx mimics the effects of naturally occurring pain reducing chemicals (endorphins) that are found in the brain and spinal cord. Pain-Rx blocks the pain signals in the brain causing the pain to be lessened, if felt at all. Pain-Rx also works on the prostaglandins, which actually allow you to feel the pain. They also cause the inflammation to bathe the tissues in fluid from your blood that will protect the ailment and help it to heal. Pain-Rx was developed to work synergistically as a non-addictive opioid agonist and as a COX-2 inhibitor. Its proprietary formula includes:
(1) Paullinia tomentosa - a plant known to contain tannins effective at dosages as low as 5 mg of a methanol extract
(2) Chiococca alba - a plant known to contain coumarins, alkanes, and lignans known to help alleviate pain with an ethanolic extract from the dried leaves
(3) Mimosa pudica - the most potent of the three Belizean plants in this product - has been shown to alleviate pain, and is also used as an antispasmadic, muscle relaxant, and anti-inflammatory. This 1:1 ethanol-water extract is very effective for pain management and is currently patent pending for pain relief
(4) Lactuca virosa - also known as lettuce opium due to its mild sedative and analgesic effects. It was studied some time ago by the council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in 1911. The two main constituents are Lactucopicrin and Lactucin. Pain-Rx only uses the highest-grade lactuca virosa grown in Great Britain
(5) White Willow Bark extract - lowers the body's level of prostaglandins, which reduces aches, pains, and inflammation. Hi-Tech's proprietary 95% extract has been shown to relieve acute and chronic pain, control arthritis discomforts, and reduce muscle aches
(6) Phellodendren Amurense - this amazing herb has been shown to inhibit COX-2 enzymes. COX-2 enzymes in our bodies are involved with how we feel and experience pain
(7) Boswellia Serrata - this herb's active constituent, boswellic acid, has been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory activity. Clinical trials have shown beneficial effects in rheumatoid arthritis also.