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

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 »

8 tips for pain-free summer travel

Tips to avoid arthritis pain during travel include packing light, using wheeled luggage, taking along pain relievers, and bringing accessories that can make travel more comfortable. (Locked) More »

Easy exercises for healthy knees

Even a small amount of exercise throughout the day will make a difference in knee health. Just a few repetitions here and there will give the knee joint more stability, which decreases stress at the joint from any weight-bearing activities. That can also help lessen the progression of arthritis in the joint. It’s helpful to fit in a few repetitions while watching TV or talking on the phone. Exercises that can help improve knee health include heel raises, standing side leg lifts, standing knee lifts, seated hamstring curls, and seated knee extensions.   (Locked) More »

How to soothe a sore neck

Most men develop neck pain for the same reasons they suffer low back pain, often strained or sprained muscles, ligaments, and tendons. First-line therapy is rest, ice, heat, pain relievers, and possibly limited use of a neck collar. Exercises to stretch and strengthen the neck, shoulder, and upper back muscles can speed recovery from a painful neck condition and possibly reduce flare-ups. Therapy will likely combine isometric and range-of-motion exercises. In isometric exercise, you tighten the neck muscles against an opposing force. If neck pain is severe, lasts for weeks or months, drastically limits your ability to move your head, radiates into the shoulders, or feels worse in the morning, more extensive therapy and possibly surgery may be indicated. More »

Shingles vaccination pros and cons

Experts recommend that everyone 60 and older get the vaccine for shingles, a painful rash caused by reactivation of the chickenpox virus. The vaccine is safe, but can be costly if not covered by insurance. The chief benefit of the vaccine is that it helps prevent an uncommon but serious complication of shingles: persistent nerve pain after the rash clears up, known as post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). PHN can be very painful as well as hard to treat. Vaccination is not as effective in older people because their immune systems tend to weaken over time. Over all, in those 60 and older the vaccine cuts the risk of shingles by 50%. (Locked) More »