Other Pain

Other Pain Articles

Talking of walking in three easy pieces

Studies examine various aspects of the health benefits of walking: gait speed, use of hiking poles, and type of footwear. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have shown that walking may also serve as something of a prognosticator. Results of their research show that after about age 65, how fast we walk, or gait speed may predict how long we have to live. Results from several studies show that using hiking poles while walking at a fairly brisk pace does seem to increase cardiovascular workload. Some studies show that people have an increased physiological response but don't feel as though any more exertion is involved. One study of people who have pain in their legs while walking because of poor circulation found that they were able to walk farther with less pain if they used hiking poles. Pain from arthritic knees makes walking difficult for many people, and shoes with thick, cushiony soles are commonly believed to help. But some research is challenging that conventional wisdom with results that suggest that thinner, more flexible soles actually put less load on the knees. More »

How to release a frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder (also called adhesive capsulitis) is a common disorder that causes pain, stiffness, and loss of normal range of motion in the shoulder. It is caused by an injury or inflammation, which limits movement and causes the tissue around the joint to thicken and contract. Physical therapy will aim to restore flexibility to the joint capsule, then to strengthen it. More »

Pain, anxiety, and depression

Everyone experiences pain at some point, but in people with depression or anxiety, pain can become particularly intense and hard to treat. People suffering from depression, for example, tend to experience more severe and long-lasting pain than other people. The overlap of anxiety, depression, and pain is particularly evident in chronic and sometimes disabling pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, low back pain, headaches, and nerve pain. For example, about two-thirds of patients with irritable bowel syndrome who are referred for follow-up care have symptoms of psychological distress, most often anxiety. About 65% of patients seeking help for depression also report at least one type of pain symptom. Psychiatric disorders not only contribute to pain intensity but also to increased risk of disability. Researchers once thought the reciprocal relationship between pain, anxiety, and depression resulted mainly from psychological rather than biological factors. Chronic pain is depressing, and likewise major depression may feel physically painful. But as researchers have learned more about how the brain works, and how the nervous system interacts with other parts of the body, they have discovered that pain shares some biological mechanisms with anxiety and depression. More »

Rubbing it in

Topical pain-relief products provide quick relief for sore muscles and joints, but they vary in effectiveness. People whose stomachs are sensitive to oral pain relief medications may prefer to use a cream or ointment. (Locked) More »

A vaccine for shingles

Doctors know it as zoster, but up to a million Americans are stricken each year by the infection they call shingles. By either name, it's an unsightly, often painful process that can be prevented by a vaccine that was approved in 2006. The culprit is varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox (varicella in children). The vast majority of children recover completely, but that's not the end of the story. Instead of being killed and eliminated from the body, VZV goes into hibernation, hiding out in the part of the nervous system known as the sensory nerve ganglia. In most people, the virus remains dormant and harmless for life, but in up to 15%, VZV becomes active and causes shingles. Most patients with shingles are older than 60, and some have weakened immune systems. The virus spreads along the sensory nerve to form a line of blisters on one side of the body. Most patients recover fully, but a few develop serious complications, and up to a third develop long-lasting pain (post-herpetic neuralgia). Antiviral medicines, which are often prescribed with steroids, can reduce the risk of pain. More »

Recovering from an ankle sprain

Ankle sprains are common, but they require proper treatment to heal correctly. You should rest for one or two days and use ice to reduce swelling, then begin exercising to regain strength and range of motion. (Locked) More »