For the First Time . . . You Can See Pain

I’ve had ridiculous calls from ER providers telling me that “your headache patient is in our ER and they want something for pain, but they don’t look like they are in pain to me.”

No human being can look at someone else and decide if they are in pain or not. Headache, serious headaches, have always been discriminated against because people can’t see it. Well, that is about to change.

In an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers showed that they could created functional pictures of the brain were you can actually see the pain and the intensity of the pain. They think it is 100% actuate or near that. She the NPR story here.

I think this is going to be most useful in research.  I doubt that it will be used in the ER as a pain-lie detector (or proof of pain) because there are just too many dynamics with that. Can you imagine if you were in real and severe pain, but the machine had an error and said you were not?  Then you would be thrown out on your ears and at great injustice would have been committed.

But maybe there is a place for it in the legal world.  I recently had an L and I case where to me there is no question that the man suffered a head injury that caused his pain. However, because his MRI was normal (and they are always  normal) the person at L and I told me the patient was lying about their pain.