Pain Management

CGRP: A new era for migraine treatment

A new type of medication for migraine headaches is currently being reviewed by the FDA, and if approved may provide safe, long-lasting relief for many by blocking the activation of a molecule involved in the pain process.

Acupuncture for headache

Although acupuncture has been practiced for centuries, many people are still skeptical of its effectiveness. But in the past decade or so, a significant amount of evidence has accumulated from high-quality studies showing that acupuncture provides genuine pain relief, and can help with other conditions as well.

Medical marijuana

Peter Grinspoon, MD

Contributing Editor

Medical marijuana is controversial, in part because many people aren’t aware of how and why it is used. Most commonly it is used to ease pain, and doctors need to be prepared for the questions their patients will have about it.

What to do for stubborn low back pain

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

How does a doctor treat her own back pain? By following the same advice she gives her patients: alternating ice and heat, doing core exercises, applying topical remedies, and taking over-the-counter medication only if other therapies are not effective.

The cost of chronic pain

Laura Kiesel


Even with comprehensive insurance, people with chronic conditions must shoulder the costs of many treatment-related expenses that are not covered because they are considered complementary or alternative therapies.

I love my kids but they’ve ruined my neck

Steve Calechman


People who have kids spend a lot of time looking down. Even those who don’t probably spend a lot of time looking down at their phone, tablet, or laptop. Either way it’s bad for the neck muscles; a physical therapist offers some advice.

Contrary to popular belief, epidurals don’t prolong labor. Phew.

Hope Ricciotti, MD

Editor in Chief, Harvard Women's Health Watch

Challenging a long-held belief, a new study found that women who received epidural anesthesia during labor did not have prolonged labor or higher rates of cesarean births.

Women and pain: Disparities in experience and treatment

Laura Kiesel


Most people dealing with chronic pain are women, but most pain research has been done on men. The disparity in how women are diagnosed and treated is unfair, and can be dangerous.

Lessons from a chronic pain management program

Laura Kiesel


Comprehensive programs for chronic pain involve a variety of components, from body mechanics to nutrition to occupational therapy and beyond. And while there is no easy fix for chronic pain, and sometimes no permanent fix at all, unexpected victories can be made in the search for answers.

Too many pain pills after surgery: When good intentions go awry

Scott Weiner, MD


The opioid epidemic has had a devastating effect on lives. There are many factors behind this crisis, some of which may be surprising. A reasonable and well-intentioned effort to reduce and relieve pain can inadvertently lead to a potentially life-threatening addiction, but there are some surprisingly simple ways to avoid such scenarios.