Is the Cure worse than the Disease?



We spend a huge amount of time, effort and money on pain management and the evaluation. Let us take a moment to reflect on the history of pain management as reported in the March 7, 2011 issue of Time Magazine.


  • Earliest pain management appeared in the Neolithic Age — about 9,500 B.C. – and consisted of boring a hole in the skull to relieve pressure and liberate evil spirits. Surely this is where the “cure is worse than the disease” came from.
  • Folks in 3,300 B.C. applied tattoos to parts of the body that where causing pain.
  • The TENS unit started in 2,750 B.C. as ancient Egyptians used electric eels to produce pain-relieving shocks.
  • First century Romans used hot seawater baths and ointments that included poppy to relieve pain.
  • In 1846 ether was used for the first time by a dentist in Massachusetts.
  • Chloroform was used in 1853 by Queen Victoria to reduce the pain of giving birth to her eighth child, Prince Leopold.
  • Bayer introduces aspirin in 1899; calls it the “drug of the century” (as perhaps the next two as well).
  • Tylenol and Motrin are developed in the 1960s and 70s. Who knows where the state of pain management will be a hundred years from now? Let’s hope it doesn’t involve permanent and ever-increasing doses of opioids, morphine and mood-altering drugs.

Call us. We really can do better.

Posted in Medical Cost Containment, Workers’ Compensation