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

New ways to beat osteoarthritis pain

Progress on new treatments for osteoarthritis has been slow, in part because the disease damages joints very gradually over time and is therefore hard to study. Researchers are starting to change the way they approach treatments, looking at the entire joint, instead of just the cartilage. Potential new therapies include the osteoporosis drug strontium ranelate and stem cell therapy. For now, pain relievers, joint injections of corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid, and joint resurfacing or replacement are the best treatment options. More »

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery

Arthroscopy is a popular technique for shoulder surgery. It allows a surgeon to look inside the shoulder joint and operate without making a large incision. Arthroscopy is recommended most often to repair torn rotator cuff tendons (which keep the arm bone in the shoulder socket), dislocated shoulders, and torn ligaments, as well as to remove bone spurs and loose cartilage. To find a surgeon, go to specialists in shoulder medicine and sports medicine who have experience doing the surgery on a daily basis. (Locked) More »

Is acupuncture for you?

Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese healing practice, can help relieve chronic pain, such as headache, back and neck pain, shoulder pain, and knee pain from osteoarthritis. A study found that acupuncture relieved pain about as well as conventional care, such as pain medication. Acupuncture is safe and painless if performed by a trained practitioner. The downsides are that insurance usually does not cover it, and it may require a month or two of weekly treatments to find out if it works for you. More »

Needling away chronic pain

Acupuncture may be helpful for reducing pain in many chronic conditions, such as back pain, neck pain, and headache. How exactly acupuncture relieves pain isn’t clear. People who would like to try acupuncture for chronic pain should first talk to their doctor. (Locked) More »

Bad backs: Are you happy with your treatment?

A new tool called a decision aid can help make sure people with a herniated disc understand all aspects of treatment. The tool is a questionnaire with multiple-choice questions. It also asks about patient goals and concerns to see if surgical or nonsurgical options may best meet their needs. A doctor can take the results and address any knowledge gaps. The survey has already shown, in clinical studies, that it’s made a difference to patients and helped to ensure that the right candidate for herniated disc surgery is in the operating room. (Locked) More »

How to get ready for a new knee

Total knee replacement can return people with bad knees to levels of pain-free functioning they have not enjoyed in years. But the benefits of this major elective surgery come with risks and costs. Total knee replacement requires general anesthesia, so serious complications are always possible. Knee replacement involves a prolonged recovery, requiring months of rigorous physical therapy to regain full strength and range of motion. People planning on getting a new knee can increase the chance of a full and speedy recovery by doing physical therapy on the affected knee and leg before surgery. (Locked) More »