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Pain Archive

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Relieve low back pain with stretching

Published October 1, 2022

Stretching the muscles that support the spine can help alleviate persistent or recurring low back pain. The muscles to stretch include the erector spinae muscles along the spine, the iliopsoas muscles connecting the spine to the lower limbs, and the abdominal muscles in the front of the body that help prop up the torso. Other muscles that support the back include those in the front of the hips, back of the thighs, and buttocks. An example of a back stretch is lying on a bed and pulling the legs close to the chest for half a minute.

Certain medications are better than others for managing spine pain

Published October 1, 2022

Certain medications are safer and more effective than others for treating spine pain in older adults, according to a recent study. Among these are the over-the-counter drugs acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) and some nerve pain drugs, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants.

Walking for exercise may prevent knee pain

Published September 1, 2022

People with knee osteoarthritis may prevent future knee pain and reduce joint damage by walking for exercise.

Back pain: Will treatment for the mind, body—or both—help?

Published June 16, 2022

Low back pain is a leading cause of disability worldwide. A recent review of dozens of studies suggests that combining physical therapy with psychological approaches to treating pain led to better overall results in improvement of pain.

Get a helping hand for pain

Published May 1, 2022

Osteoarthritis in the hand is a painful condition that is more common in women than in men. While this condition can be debilitating, a number of strategies can be used to manage it, including using various topical, oral, and injected pain medications; splinting the joint; making lifestyle changes; and working with a hand therapist. Surgery may be an option when other measures have failed to control symptoms.

Pool therapy beats physical therapy for chronic low back pain

Published April 1, 2022

A small, randomized trial published online Jan. 3, 2022, by JAMA Network Open suggests that aquatic or pool therapy is more effective at reducing chronic low back pain than physical therapy.

Virtual reality for chronic pain relief

Published April 1, 2022

Virtual reality (VR) is being studied as a therapy for people with chronic pain. It immerses people in calming three-dimensional environments and uses principles of mindfulness, meditation, guided imagery, or cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s believed to help reduce chronic pain by decreasing stress, anxiety, depression, and fear, which all contribute to pain. It could also be that VR and its many stimuli simply distract your brain from receiving pain signals. VR for pain reduction isn’t widely available as of 2022.

Typing and tapping despite hand pain

Published March 1, 2022

Hand pain or stiffness makes computer or smartphone use difficult. Strategies to combat this include stretching the hands and fingers, avoiding awkward hand positions when holding a smartphone or computer mouse, taking breaks, alternating the fingers that do the work, and taking breaks. Using certain tools can also reduce hand strain or pain. Such tools include voice-to-text features, a wide-grip stylus, a smartphone holder, gel-filled wrist rests, and a comfortable mouse (which might be bigger, smaller, or vertical) to keep hands from stretching too wide or gripping too hard.

When the doctor becomes the patient: A transformative experience

Published January 26, 2022

A doctor’s serious health threat prompts reflection on the power of spirituality, the value of mindfulness practice, and acknowledgment of mortality as a motivator to reassess one’s priorities.

Stretching studios: Do you need what they offer?

Published January 24, 2022
One trend in the world of fitness is the stretching studio, providing assisted stretching sessions marketed as a way to improve flexibility and ease chronic pain. But those looking to boost their overall health are more likely to benefit from regular, moderate physical activity, and do their stretching at home.

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