From the earliest ages there has been an earnest search for a universal panacea for pain. It is universally regarded as an enemy which should be contended against and subdued as quickly as possible. The physiologist, however, regards pain as a friend, since it gives warning of danger, and thus in many cases gives opportunity for averting the threatened calamity to the physical organism. Pain is a sentinel which stands on guard to protect the citadel of life. When the faithful sentinel is lulled to sleep by the devices of anaesthesia, a limb may be severed from the body and the most exquisitely sensitive organs may be subjected to violence without any remonstrance on the part of outraged nature. If anaesthesia were the natural condition, life could not long be maintained, for the body would soon be destroyed by the various destructive agents with which it comes in contact. In view of these facts it is evident that before seeking a remedy for the relief of pain in any particular case, the question should be asked, What is the nature and cause of the symptom ? In the majority of cases the treatment should be applied not directly for the relief of the pain itself, but for the purpose of removing the cause upon which the pain depends. When this is done, the pain ceases of itself; whereas, when the opposite course is taken, the sensibility to pain may be obtunded by depriving the nerves of their power of remonstrance while the cause still remains. As a general rule, the large class of drugs which are so extensively used for the relief of pain are utterly worthless as a means of cure, being simply temporary palliatives. In many instances, too, the very drug which relieves the pain temporarily, really increases the difficulty by paralyzing the efforts of nature to remove the morbid cause from which the pain arises.

Pressure In The Treatment of Pain

Pressure upon the affected side of the chest in pleurisy is sometimes very effective in relieving the sharp pain which accompanies respiration in this disease. Pleurodynia also yields to pressure with equal facility.