Pain

Everyone experiences pain at some time. It might be the result of an injury, operation, or pushing your body too hard. Headache, infection, arthritis, and other health problems cause pain. Unchecked, pain can rob you of the ability to sleep, work, and enjoy life. It can also lead to depression and anxiety.

We've come a long way from the days of "grin and bear it," or "no pain, no gain." Pain begets pain, so it's important to stop it early. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to pain relief. Standard medications can be a good option for many pain sufferers, but a wide range of effective nondrug therapies are also available.

Pain Articles

Oh, my aching jaw

There are different underlying reasons for the types of orofacial pain commonly called temporomandibular joint problems, or TMJ. Not all of them are caused by problems with the joint itself, and specialists are getting better at diagnosing them. Orofacial pain may result from a joint problem, a muscle-based problem, a headache syndrome, or a pain processing problem. (Locked) More »

Don’t take back pain sitting down

Pain when sitting can be caused by a number of common problems, including problems with the discs that cushion the vertebrae in the back. Lying down can help the pain temporarily, but the goal should be to get up and move as soon as possible. People should see a doctor if your pain is extremely severe, if it comes back after getting better, or if it occurred after an injury. (Locked) More »

Giving steroid injections a shot

People battling a flare-up of arthritis, bursitis, or tendinitis may find relief from a cortisone (or steroid) shot. This type of pain management is often used when over-the-counter and prescription medication or physical therapy no longer work. However, people need to be aware that a shot offers only short-term relief and not a cure. (Locked) More »

When is it time for a knee replacement?

Deciding whether knee replacement surgery is necessary depends on the symptoms, the extent of joint damage, how much the joint problems limit daily activities and how well other treatments are working. Consulting with an orthopedic surgeon or a rheumatologist can help people make the best decision. (Locked) More »

Back X-Rays (Spine X-Rays)

Doctors have used x-rays for over a century to see inside the body in order to diagnose a variety of problems, including cancer, fractures, and pneumonia. During this test, you usually stand in front of a photographic plate while a machine sends x-rays, a type of radiation, through your body. Originally, a photograph of internal structures was produced on film; nowadays, the image created by the x-rays goes directly into a computer. Dense structures, such as bone, appear white on the x-ray films because they absorb many of the x-ray beams and block them from reaching the plate. Hollow body parts, such as lungs, appear dark because x-rays pass through them. Doctors use back x-rays to examine the vertebrae in the spine for fractures, arthritis, or spine deformities such as scoliosis, as well as for signs of infection or cancer. X-rays can be taken separately for the three areas of the spine: the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (middle back), and lumbar spine (lower back). Occasionally, doctors x-ray the pelvis to help diagnose the cause of back pain. You have to remove all clothing, undergarments, and jewelry from your upper body. You may be asked to wear a hospital gown. (Locked) More »

Foot X-Ray

Doctors have used x-rays for over a century to see inside the body. X-rays can diagnose a variety of problems, including bone fractures, arthritis, cancer, and pneumonia. During this test, you usually stand in front of a photographic plate while a machine sends x-rays, a type of radiation, through a part of your body. Originally, a photograph of internal structures was produced on film; nowadays, the image created by the x-rays goes directly into a computer. Dense structures absorb many of the x-rays and block them from reaching the plate. Calcium in bones is dense, so it absorbs lots of x-rays, making the image of the bone appear white. Fat and other soft tissues are less dense, so they allow more radiation to pass through them and appear in shades of gray. Hollow body parts, such as the lungs, appear dark or black because lots of x-rays pass through them. A foot x-ray can be used to diagnose broken bones, dislocated joints, arthritis or joint deformities such as bunions. A foot x-ray can help diagnose the cause of unexplained symptoms like general foot pain, swelling, and tenderness. (Locked) More »

Myelography (Myelogram)

A myelogram is an x-ray test in which dye is injected directly into your spinal canal to help show places where the vertebrae in your back may be pinching the spinal cord. It is sometimes used to help diagnose back or leg pain problems, especially if surgery is being planned. Tell your doctor ahead of time if you have ever had an allergic reaction to lidocaine or the numbing medicine used at the dentist's office, or to x-ray dyes. You should also tell your doctor if you might be pregnant, since x-rays can harm the developing baby. Patients usually wear a hospital gown. Typically, you lie on your side with your knees curled up against your chest. In some cases, the doctor asks you to sit on the bed or a table instead, leaning forward against some pillows. (Locked) More »

Sutures

Sutures, commonly called stitches, are sterile surgical threads that are used to repair cuts (lacerations). They also are used to close incisions from surgery. Some wounds (from trauma or from surgery) are closed with metal staples instead of sutures. Sutures may be used to close surface wounds or deep wounds. To close a deep wound, a doctor may need to sew the two edges together layer by layer, placing and leaving some sutures under the skin surface. There are two types of sutures that are used for wound repair. (Locked) More »