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

When walking makes your legs hurt

There are other conditions besides arthritis that can make walking difficult and even painful, such as peripheral artery disease, chronic venous insufficiency, lumbar spinal stenosis, and diabetic neuropathy. More »

Pain relief, opioids, and constipation

Opioid drugs like morphine are the most effective pain relievers, but constipation is a typical side effect. it is therefore advisable to take a stool softener and a laxative when taking an opioid. More »

Gout: Joint pain and more

Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs primarily in older men, and is caused by a buildup of excess uric acid in the body that crystallizes in a joint, causing inflammation, swelling, and pain. More »

A vaccine for shingles

Doctors know it as zoster, but up to a million Americans are stricken each year by the infection they call shingles. By either name, it's an unsightly, often painful process that can be prevented by a vaccine that was approved in 2006. The culprit is varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox (varicella in children). The vast majority of children recover completely, but that's not the end of the story. Instead of being killed and eliminated from the body, VZV goes into hibernation, hiding out in the part of the nervous system known as the sensory nerve ganglia. In most people, the virus remains dormant and harmless for life, but in up to 15%, VZV becomes active and causes shingles. Most patients with shingles are older than 60, and some have weakened immune systems. The virus spreads along the sensory nerve to form a line of blisters on one side of the body. Most patients recover fully, but a few develop serious complications, and up to a third develop long-lasting pain (post-herpetic neuralgia). Antiviral medicines, which are often prescribed with steroids, can reduce the risk of pain. More »

Recovering from an ankle sprain

Ankle sprains are common, but they require proper treatment to heal correctly. You should rest for one or two days and use ice to reduce swelling, then begin exercising to regain strength and range of motion. (Locked) More »

Big toe got you down? It may be hallux rigidus.

Hallux rigidus is stiffness in the big toe caused by arthritis in its joint. It can be treated with anti-inflammatory medication or sometimes a corticosteroid injection, but if these measures are unsuccessful, surgery may be necessary. (Locked) More »

Shingles

    Do you have a history of chicken pox?  Does your skin hurt, itch, or feel numb?  Is the pain sharp, dull, or piercing? How long have you had it?  Do you have a rash? If so, for how long?  Is the rash in more than one place on your skin?  Is the rash on one side of your body only?  Has the rash at any time looked like small blisters?  Do you still have pain even if the rash is gone?  What triggers the pain (for example, a light touch)?  Do your symptoms interfere with your ability to sleep or perform activities of daily living?  Do you have any risk factors for infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)?  Are you taking any medications?                                Careful skin exam          Skin scraping to examine under the microscope, or for viral culture, immunofluorescence, or polymerase chain reaction testing           (Locked) More »