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

Managing statin muscle pain

Muscle aches and cramps—the most common side effects of statins—are more common in women than in men. Treating vitamin D deficiencies and low thyroid hormone levels, changing prescriptions, and making lifestyle changes may help. (Locked) More »

Age-proof your knees

Numerous strategies can help stave off or prevent knee problems related to osteoarthritis. Boosting muscle strength stabilizes the knee joint and helps absorb stress. Losing weight relieves pressure and pain on the joints. Improving range of motion may reduce symptoms. Other ideas include avoiding high-impact activities such as jogging and aerobics classes that involve jumping, and avoiding long periods of standing on hard surfaces or squatting. Sitting on a low stool while gardening may also help. More »

Getting the best of bothersome bunions

Although some people are genetically predisposed to developing bunions, most cases result from improper footwear. Wearing shoes with low heels and wide toes, protecting the bunions with cushions, and shoe inserts can prevent irritation and relieve pain. Corrective surgery is a last resort. More »

When heart attacks go unrecognized

Nearly half of all heart attacks are “silent,” meaning the person doesn’t realize it at the time. One reason may be a higher-than-average pain tolerance. People with diabetes might be less sensitive to pain because the disease can deaden nerves. However, failure to recognize atypical heart attack symptoms is a more likely explanation. Nonclassic symptoms include shortness of breath, weakness, nausea or vomiting, and unexplained fatigue. (Locked) More »

Could that joint pain be rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a progressive disease that can affect the whole body, including the heart, lungs, and eyes. It may cause damage to the joints, tendons, and bones. Classic symptoms include persistent swelling in multiple joints, pain that is worse in the morning and better with movement, and persistent fatigue. It’s important to begin treating RA as soon as possible, because medication may help slow the disease process. Other therapies include exercise, splinting, weight loss, and smoking cessation. (Locked) More »

How should I treat canker sores?

Short summary: Canker sores are small ulcers that appear on the inside of the cheeks and lips. Treatment involves easing the pain with over-the-counter or prescription anesthetics in the form of liquids, gels, and pastes, or an occlusive that offers a protective coating when eating salty, spicy, or acidic foods. (Locked) More »

The downside of taking pills to treat chronic pain

Not understanding the risks of using painkillers can be dangerous. Large doses of acetaminophen can damage the liver. Regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has been linked to ulcers, stomach bleeding, kidney problems, high blood pressure, and increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Long-term use of prescription painkillers called opioids comes with the risk of dependence, addiction, overdose, death, constipation, falls, slowed reaction time, and slowed breathing. It’s important to weigh the risks and benefits of long-term use of painkillers by talking with a doctor. (Locked) More »