I think we’ve all had that kind of pain. A headache, maybe, or an injury. The kind of pain…that THROBS. You know what I mean. When I get one of those throbbing headaches, it’s like every beat of my heart is pushing the blood up through my brain, and with the blood comes another throb of pain. I feel like my head throbs in time with my heartbeat, and will even try to relax and slow my heart beat down to at least slow the throbbing a little. It never works.
And it turns out there’s a reason that it doesn’t work. Because it turns out that pulsatile pain has nothing to do with heartrate. And for this study, all the authors needed was a heart rate monitor…and some very long-suffering dental patients.
Mirza et al. “Is There a Relationship between Throbbing Pain and Arterial Pulsations?” J Neuroscience, 2012.