Recently at a lecture in San Francisco during the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS); I was able to listen to a talk regarding narcotic use in Pain Management. Sean Mackey, MD Chief of Pain Management at Stanford University detailed a study regarding “intense” or “passionate” love and it’s effects on Pain. Interestingly, the same brain centers that are involved with passionate love are also involved with processing the effects of pain. Stanford students who were looking at a picture of their “loved one” experienced less pain when subjected to a painful stimuli. This may have consequences for chronic pain patients. Encouraging these people to engage in new activities that they have strong interest in, may help decrease their overall perception of pain.

Paul Saiz, MD