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

Ouch! Shoulder pain and how to treat it

 Image: © vitapix/Getty Images You probably don't think about your shoulders much, until you suddenly experience pain in one of them. Shoulder pain can make a simple act — brushing and drying your hair, reaching behind your back to fasten a bra, or grabbing something overhead — seem like a monumental task. As you age, you're more likely to experience shoulder pain from a variety of common conditions. "Shoulder problems are very common," says Dr. Arun Ramappa, associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School. The pain can come on gradually or abruptly, and it may range from mild to excruciating. More »

The pain of measuring pain

The 10-point pain scale has been used for decades to help patients communicate pain levels to their doctors, but a more thorough approach is a multi-tier method. This includes placing pain into different categories like mild, moderate, and severe, with some levels of degree under each one, as well as describing the pain and explaining its location, severity, duration, and specific qualities. (Locked) More »

The drug-free approach to pain management

One of the main reasons for the growing addiction to pain medicine is the ease at which it is often prescribed. Yet, depending on a person’s type and severity of pain, there may be nondrug options available that can help control, manage, and perhaps treat the underlying cause of painful flare-ups. These include physical therapy, yoga, mind-body therapies, and complementary treatments, among others. More »

Babying your back may delay healing

 You might be considering surgery or other intervention to treat your back pain. But less may actually be more for this common problem, and in many instances the best medicine is good old-fashioned movement and exercise. Back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health. It's also a little strange as far as ailments go. When you twist your ankle, you generally have pain that slowly goes away as the injury heals. Not so with back pain. Relief doesn't seem to be linked to healing because the pain is usually unrelated to an injury. In fact, back pain often diminishes over time, even when there is an underlying problem like a herniated disc or arthritis, says Dr. James Rainville, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. More »

Moving away from knee osteoarthritis

An estimated 10% of men ages 60 and older having symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or aspirin, and steroid injections can temporarily soothe arthritis pain and inflammation. But an easier and safer way to manage symptoms is to be more active as bones and cartilage need the stimulation of regular movement to stay healthy and pain free. More »

The art of pain therapy

Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of art to address and work through emotional and physical issues, especially those related to chronic pain. Art therapy does not replace the need for pain medication, but it helps lower the perception of pain by moving people’s mental focus away from the painful stimulus, and teaching them how to relax and alter their mood, so the pain no longer controls them. (Locked) More »

Is fibromyalgia real?

Fibromyalgia is a misunderstood but real condition that experts believe may be caused when the brain essentially overreacts to external stimuli that would not typically cause pain. More »