Nearly every human being experiences pain at some point in life. “The Universal Condition” will examine issues in the perception of pain and chronicle medicine’s quest to relieve it, from the ancient use of psychoactive plants to contemporary laser therapy, focusing on milestones such as the discovery of anesthesia. Case studies will provide an in-depth look at some common pain syndromes, explaining their causes and available treatments.
Featured in the exhibit are historical artifacts from the Museum’s extensive collection, including trephined skulls, 19th-century anesthesia inhalers, and packaging for patent medicines containing opium, cannabis, and belladonna. The exhibit also showcases products and innovations in use today for the control of acute and chronic pain.