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

What is a tailor's bunion?

A bunion on the little toe is commonly called a tailor's bunion.  The main cause of tailor's bunions are narrow shoes — especially those with high heels — that don't have enough room for the toes, so the big and little ones get scrunched and pushed toward the middle three. Tailor's bunions can be treated in a commonsensical fashion. People can wear shoes wide enough to comfortably accommodate their toes, or use shoe stretchers that create a little more space for the widest part of the foot. Moleskin or little silicone shields can be used to pad the protuberances. (Locked) More »

Feet and falling

There's been a surge of research connecting falls to foot pain and perhaps also to common foot problems like bunions and clawed toes. But until recently only a handful of studies have investigated a more direct connection between foot pain and falls. The studies that have been done have focused on high-risk groups, not the general "community-dwelling" population of older people. A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society identified those with foot pain and those without, and followed them for a year. By a sizable margin, the people who fell were more likely to have been bothered by foot pain than the people who didn't fall. More »

Strange bedfellows: Polymyalgia rheumatica and temporal arteritis

Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory disorder of the joints and connective tissues. It can severely limit your daily activities and take a heavy toll on your sleep and well-being. PMR can come on gradually over days or weeks or may appear suddenly. You may feel fine one day and terrible the next. Temporal arteritis is an inflammation of large blood vessels, such as in the head. A severe, constant headache is often one of the first signs. These conditions often occur together, though the reasons for this are unknown. Fortunately, both of these disorders are highly treatable. (Locked) More »

How to release a frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder (also called adhesive capsulitis) is a common disorder that causes pain, stiffness, and loss of normal range of motion in the shoulder. It is caused by an injury or inflammation, which limits movement and causes the tissue around the joint to thicken and contract. Physical therapy will aim to restore flexibility to the joint capsule, then to strengthen it. More »

Pain, anxiety, and depression

Everyone experiences pain at some point, but in people with depression or anxiety, pain can become particularly intense and hard to treat. People suffering from depression, for example, tend to experience more severe and long-lasting pain than other people. The overlap of anxiety, depression, and pain is particularly evident in chronic and sometimes disabling pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, low back pain, headaches, and nerve pain. For example, about two-thirds of patients with irritable bowel syndrome who are referred for follow-up care have symptoms of psychological distress, most often anxiety. About 65% of patients seeking help for depression also report at least one type of pain symptom. Psychiatric disorders not only contribute to pain intensity but also to increased risk of disability. Researchers once thought the reciprocal relationship between pain, anxiety, and depression resulted mainly from psychological rather than biological factors. Chronic pain is depressing, and likewise major depression may feel physically painful. But as researchers have learned more about how the brain works, and how the nervous system interacts with other parts of the body, they have discovered that pain shares some biological mechanisms with anxiety and depression. More »