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

"Joint support" supplements for arthritis

Many “joint support” dietary supplements and herbal remedies are available, but there is no strong proof that they reduce pain and cartilage loss from osteoarthritis. The most widely used products contain glucosamine and/or chondroitin sulfate, but well-done clinical trials have failed to document a benefit. Joint support supplements may also contain dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and S-adenosyl-L-methionine SAMe, as well as avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) or the herb Boswellia serrata. Such products are not evaluated as rigorously for safety, including reactions with other drugs, as are pharmaceuticals. In contrast, exercise can help reduce pain and maintain physical function. Fitness programs to build strength, flexibility, and aerobic capacity seem to work best. More »

Ask the doctor: Jogging and arthritis

Jogging for exercise has not been shown to cause or worsen knee arthritis. If running causes pain, it can help to on a softer surface and alternate running with other forms of lower-impact healthy aerobic exercise. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: Mistaken migraines

Headaches are not the most common symptom of a chronic sinus condition. Frequent headaches that seem associated with a sinus condition may actually be due to migraines. Migraines can be stopped or shortened with proper use of medications. (Locked) More »

What's causing your lower back pain?

The lumbar or lower area of the spine can suffer from many different ailments that cause lower back pain. Common problems include back sprains and strains, herniated discs, and spinal stenosis. Some lower back conditions can heal on their own, such as sprains, strains, and disc problems. The pain from spinal stenosis is not likely to go away on its own. Relief may require prescription pain medication and surgery to decompress the nerve roots. (Locked) More »

When is back surgery the right choice?

Conservative back pain care should be tried before surgery because the results are often similar to those of surgery. Conservative back pain care consists of rest, waiting, pain relievers, and physical therapy. Spinal fusion has mixed results but could help in selected cases. One case is spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the space around the spine. When stenosis is accompanied by misalignment of the spinal vertebrae, fusion may be beneficial. However, a first option before fusion is laminectomy, a procedure that enlarges the space around the spinal nerves. More »