Venom from Surprising Creature May Hold Answer to Pain

Normally, I find and post articles on just how powerful lifestyle changes are for avoiding and managing chronic disease, but I couldn’t pass this one up.

Pain is obviously a large part of our chiropractic practice here in eternally sunny Mesa, AZ.  I feel that many cases of chronic pain are actually cases of acute pain that were mismanaged on the front end, increasing the likelihood that a patient will develop chronic pain.  This happens when medications, imaging and fear-avoidance behaviors are supported almost from the start.  If a provider (such as a chiropractor, but my opinion is biased) understands how these factors play a role in the development of chronic pain, there is much that can be done to avoid a condition becoming chronic.

But many patients come into our office already chronic and have been managed with medications.  Heck, even the acute pain patients are given narcotics, which flies in the face of all the recommendations.  A patient who has low back pain after moving around furniture a few days ago should NOT be given Percocet or Vicodin, but sadly, this is a common recommendation.  I can’t tell you how often these types of patients are 90% improved after a single visit and didn’t need narcotics; they just needed to see the right type of provider.

The focus of this blog post is not to go into the dark place where narcotic prescribing has gone in this country and the deaths laid directly at the feet of this class of drugs.  All of this can be read in a previous blog article by clicking here.

Instead, this particular article looks for an alternative to narcotics in an unlikely place from the venom of an unlikely creature.

You’ll never guess.

It’s not the gila monster (nope—this class of drugs is for diabetes) or the rattlesnake.  Or even the black widow, scorpion or the flesh-destroying brown recluse.  Nope.

The centipede.

Hardly a creature to be used to scare little children who don’t listen to their parents.  Despite this, there is a protein in the venom of the centipede that blocks a sodium channel (specifically Na 1.7 and Na 1.2) that greatly contributes to pain in humans.

In this study, it was found that this protein from centipede venom was more effective at blocking pain than morphine, with none of the pesky side effects (such as death…).  I’m not sure where this may go in the future, but I thought it was too cool not to share.

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.