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

Get rub-on relief for arthritis joint pain

Prescription strength topical pain relievers are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the form creams, gels, and patches applied to the skin. Topical pain relievers work best for mild to moderate pain from muscles, joints, and other pain sources close to the skin surface. The active ingredients are in the same drug class as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). NSAIDs can cause stomach upset, bleeding, or ulcers in people who are sensitive to anti-inflammatory medications. Topical pain relievers deliver a lower and more targeted dose of NSAIDs, which lowers the risk of side effects. Over-the-counter creams and rubs may also help for mild pain and soreness. More »

NSAIDs: topicals vs. pills for pain

Topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can bring weeks of pain relief. The drug stays close to the site of application, so levels in the blood and more remote tissues remain low. That makes topical NSAIDs less risky than oral NSAIDs, which can cause stomach ulcers and bleeding, liver and kidney damage, and increased risk of heart attacks if used long-term. Topicals are best for people who have occasional joint pain, when other methods of treatment have failed. (Locked) More »

Pain relievers: Bad for your heart?

Prescription strength topical pain relievers are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the form creams, gels, and patches applied to the skin. Topical pain relievers work best for mild to moderate pain from muscles, joints, and other pain sources close to the skin surface. The active ingredients are in the same drug class as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). NSAIDs can cause stomach upset, bleeding, or ulcers in people who are sensitive to anti-inflammatory medications. Topical pain relievers deliver a lower and more targeted dose of NSAIDs, which lowers the risk of side effects. Over-the-counter creams and rubs may also help for mild pain and soreness. (Locked) More »

Avoiding a pain in the neck

Nearly 21 million women live with neck pain. The problem is typically caused by arthritis and degenerative disk disease, and accentuated by poor posture, declining muscle strength, stress, and a lack of sleep. The best treatment for neck pain is a combination of aerobic exercise, strength training, and stretching exercises. Ergonomic improvements such as keeping a computer monitor at eye level and putting a tablet reader at a 45° angle can also help prevent neck pain.   (Locked) More »

Alternative treatments for knee pain

When considering alternative treatments to avoid a knee replacement, not all therapies are proven effective at reducing knee pain. The best treatments are weight loss and physical therapy, which relieve pressure on the knee joint. Supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin, and therapies such as acupuncture and viscosupplementation, can be effective in some people. There is not enough evidence to show that platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) and prolotherapy are effective. Prolotherapy and viscosupplementation carry a risk of infection. (Locked) More »

Fool your brain, reduce your pain

You can help relieve chronic pain by distracting your brain. If you have a demanding enough task, you’ll have less attention to give to your pain. Distractions may release natural painkillers that block incoming pain signals as they enter the spinal cord. Distractions can include memory games or any activity so pleasurable or meaningful that it distracts you from your pain. And you don’t have to choose just one activity. Using your brain to do more things that are rewarding tips the balance away from pain. (Locked) More »