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

Chest pain? How you describe your symptoms matters

Women experience and describe angina—chest pain caused by a reduction in blood flow to part of the heart—somewhat differently than men. It’s important for women to know their heart risks, and for doctors to acknowledge the possibility of angina, no matter how a woman describes her symptoms.  (Locked) More »

How to prevent gout attacks

Guidelines suggest that men at risk of gout attacks should keep their blood uric acid under 6 milligrams per deciliter. Dietary changes alone may not lower uric acid sufficiently if it is high, but avoiding certain gout-triggering foods can still help prevent gout attacks. For those who need uric acid lowering medication, guidelines say that they should take a high enough dose to be effective. For those with only sporadic attacks, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug may work well. During flare ups or while waiting for uric-acid-lowering medication to start working, colchicine may be taken at lower doses than were once typical. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: How should I treat a torn meniscus?

Surgery called partial meniscectomy has been the traditional way to correct a torn meniscus in people with osteoarthritis. However, new research suggests people with this condition may be able to try physical therapy before resorting to surgery. (Locked) More »

Avoiding knee or hip surgery

Losing weight and strengthening muscles may help stave off joint replacement. Stronger muscles are better able to absorb pressure that is placed on the joints they support. The key muscles to strengthen for knee health are the quadriceps and hamstrings. The key muscles to strengthen for hip health are the gluteus muscles and the flexors. Weight loss reduces pressure on the joints as well. A weight-loss program should include enough calories, carbohydrates, and protein to provide energy for the body and build muscle. More »

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 »