Many of us take painkillers for granted. We know that we can pop a pill for relief from a tension headache, muscle cramps or a sore back, and if things get really bad then we’re safe in the knowledge that we can be prescribed something even more powerful.
However, have you ever stopped to think about what life would be like without the ability to at least take the edge off your aches and pains?
This fascinating TED talk from Latif Nasser reveals the amazing story behind the doctor whose unique outlook and life experiences helped him to convince the medical community that pain should be taken seriously. The doctor in question—John J. Bonica—has a story worthy of a Hollywood movie, and his actions have changed the world.
As you’ll discover in Nasser’s presentation, it was a struggle to get other doctors to take pain seriously, and Bonica was instrumental in developing the idea of a pain clinic (as well as powerfully effective treatments, such as nerve-block injections).
Now, almost every hospital you see has a pain clinic, and it is widely accepted that chronic pain has a role to play not just in physical well-being but also in mental health.
Nasser deftly interweaves Dr. Bonica’s story with thought-provoking remarks about how we see others in pain, including his mother. This talk will not only teach you some fascinating lessons about the history of medicine—it will also remind you of the importance of seeing past chronic impairments and remembering that people are not just defined by their difficulties.