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

Don’t take back pain sitting down

Pain when sitting can be caused by a number of common problems, including problems with the discs that cushion the vertebrae in the back. Lying down can help the pain temporarily, but the goal should be to get up and move as soon as possible. People should see a doctor if your pain is extremely severe, if it comes back after getting better, or if it occurred after an injury. (Locked) More »

Giving steroid injections a shot

People battling a flare-up of arthritis, bursitis, or tendinitis may find relief from a cortisone (or steroid) shot. This type of pain management is often used when over-the-counter and prescription medication or physical therapy no longer work. However, people need to be aware that a shot offers only short-term relief and not a cure. (Locked) More »

When is it time for a knee replacement?

Deciding whether knee replacement surgery is necessary depends on the symptoms, the extent of joint damage, how much the joint problems limit daily activities and how well other treatments are working. Consulting with an orthopedic surgeon or a rheumatologist can help people make the best decision. (Locked) More »

Bedsores (Decubitus Ulcers)

Bedsores, also called pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are areas of broken skin that can develop in people who: Bedsores are common in people in hospitals and nursing homes and in people being cared for at home. Bedsores form where the weight of the person's body presses the skin against the firm surface of the bed. In people confined to bed, bedsores are most common over the hip, spine, lower back, tailbone, shoulder blades, elbows and heels. In people who use a wheelchair, bedsores tend to occur on the buttocks and bottoms of the feet. (Locked) More »

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

In the wrist, nerves and tendons pass through a space called the carpal tunnel.  Because the carpal tunnel is somewhat narrow, a major nerve called the median nerve that passes through this tight space, can become irritated or compressed. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a combination of numbness, tingling, pain and weakness in the hand caused by compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. (Locked) More »

Hiatal Hernia

A hernia occurs when part of an internal organ or body part protrudes through an opening into an area where it shouldn't. A hiatal hernia is named for the hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm between your chest and your stomach. Normally, the esophagus (the tube that carries food to the stomach) goes through this opening. In a hiatal hernia, part of the stomach and/or the section where the stomach joins the esophagus (called the gastroesophageal junction) slips through the hiatus into the chest. There are two types of hiatal hernias: Sliding hiatal hernias may not cause any symptoms, or they may cause heartburn that is worse when you lean forward, strain or lie down. There may be chronic belching and, sometimes, regurgitation (backflow of stomach contents into the throat). (Locked) More »

Back X-Rays (Spine X-Rays)

Doctors have used x-rays for over a century to see inside the body in order to diagnose a variety of problems, including cancer, fractures, and pneumonia. During this test, you usually stand in front of a photographic plate while a machine sends x-rays, a type of radiation, through your body. Originally, a photograph of internal structures was produced on film; nowadays, the image created by the x-rays goes directly into a computer. Dense structures, such as bone, appear white on the x-ray films because they absorb many of the x-ray beams and block them from reaching the plate. Hollow body parts, such as lungs, appear dark because x-rays pass through them. Doctors use back x-rays to examine the vertebrae in the spine for fractures, arthritis, or spine deformities such as scoliosis, as well as for signs of infection or cancer. X-rays can be taken separately for the three areas of the spine: the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (middle back), and lumbar spine (lower back). Occasionally, doctors x-ray the pelvis to help diagnose the cause of back pain. You have to remove all clothing, undergarments, and jewelry from your upper body. You may be asked to wear a hospital gown. (Locked) More »

Myelography (Myelogram)

A myelogram is an x-ray test in which dye is injected directly into your spinal canal to help show places where the vertebrae in your back may be pinching the spinal cord. It is sometimes used to help diagnose back or leg pain problems, especially if surgery is being planned. Tell your doctor ahead of time if you have ever had an allergic reaction to lidocaine or the numbing medicine used at the dentist's office, or to x-ray dyes. You should also tell your doctor if you might be pregnant, since x-rays can harm the developing baby. Patients usually wear a hospital gown. Typically, you lie on your side with your knees curled up against your chest. In some cases, the doctor asks you to sit on the bed or a table instead, leaning forward against some pillows. (Locked) More »

Sutures

Sutures, commonly called stitches, are sterile surgical threads that are used to repair cuts (lacerations). They also are used to close incisions from surgery. Some wounds (from trauma or from surgery) are closed with metal staples instead of sutures. Sutures may be used to close surface wounds or deep wounds. To close a deep wound, a doctor may need to sew the two edges together layer by layer, placing and leaving some sutures under the skin surface. There are two types of sutures that are used for wound repair. (Locked) More »