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

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 »

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 »