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According to Mohri, Fumoto, et al. in the journal Pain 118 (2005) 35-40, the rhythmic behavior of chewing suppresses nociceptive [i.e., pain-sensing] responses via the 5-HT descending inhibitory pathway.
January 28, 2009 at 07:04 PM | Permalink
I hear you about the neck pain (getting worse, too.) I'm restricted on percocet intake, but can't chew gum. Think I'll try rhythmically chewing acupuncture needles...
January 28, 2009 at 07:45 PM
I wonder about chewing on something like a wax or parafin.
January 28, 2009 at 08:42 PM
I would agree that the data cited today is much stronger than the references from yesterday.
It's interesting that the "rhythmic behavior" need not be chewing - they cite locomotion as another enhancer. You obviously can't walk while blogging, but perhaps some other rhythmic motion would be useful. I keep thinking of Bill Gates' famous rocking motions...
January 28, 2009 at 11:59 PM
Part of the problem for me is that I have compressed discs and one offset vertebra, which cause the pain to begin with. I have to be really careful how I move my neck, and chewing is one motion that has never caused a flareup. Also I would look pretty stupid rocking back and forth at work.
January 29, 2009 at 06:59 AM
My experience also indicates that chewing (unlike pencil tapping or whatever) works particularly well on neck and head pain, and my guess is that it releases a lot of muscular tension that builds up in that area in response to pain (and then hurts worse -- the cyclical effect).
January 29, 2009 at 07:03 AM
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