A recent study by researchers in the United Kingdom found that a person’s forehead and fingertips were the parts of the body most sensitive to pain.
Researchers believe their findings could help better understand the progression or regression of chronic pain or other pain related conditions. They said their findings have the potential to help millions.
“This measure tells us how precisely people can locate the source of pain on different parts of their body,” said senior author Dr. Giandomenico Iannetti of the UCL department of neuroscience, physiology and pharmacology. “Touch and pain are mediated by different sensory systems.
To better understand how individuals sense pain, researchers blindfolded 26 individuals and used a pair of lasers to simulate a pinprick sensation on various parts of their bodies. Researchers would either use one or both lasers, and they asked participants whether they felt one or two pinpricks. By blindfolding the participants and causing the pain without touch, researchers were better able to track what they call “spatial acuity.”
“This method offers an exciting, non-invasive way to test the state of pain networks across the body,” said Dr. Roman Cregg, clinical expert on chronic pain.
After analyzing the data, researchers found that touch acuity is best at a person’s extremities and forehead. Cregg concluded that the study offers a deeper understanding of the nerves and sensory systems in our bodies.
“Chronic pain is often caused by damaged nerves, but this is incredibly difficult to monitor and treat. The laser method may enable us to monitor nerve damage across the body, offering a quantitative way to see if a condition is getting better or worse”.
Related source: The Guardian
Do you have a constant or recurring pain in your hand, wrist, or forearm? You may have a common condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which a pinched nerve in the wrist leads to pain in the hand and forearm.
Causes of CTS
The carpal tunnel is a channel on the inside of your wrist that protects a nerve and numerous tendons as they pass into your hand. When this nerve is pinched it can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Commonly, carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by one or more of the following:
- Compressing the nerve by using a computer keyboard and/or mouse for long periods of time.
- Using your hands to work with anything that vibrates intensely or results in high force impact.
- Physical injury to the hand, wrist, or forearm.
- Any other form of repetitive stress.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
So how do you determine whether or not you have carpal tunnel syndrome? There are a number of symptoms to watch out for that could indicate the condition, such as:
- A tingling or numbing sensation in the hands.
- Pain in your wrist that moves up into your palm and fingers, or through your forearm.
- Weakness in your hands resulting in an inability to grip objects or make a fist.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that most people simply live with. But if you find that your symptoms are interfering with your day to day activities, it’s important to consult with a specialist.
Read our follow-up blog on treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome.