Pain Archive

Articles

Avoiding shoulder pain

If your workouts have been a pain in the shoulders, Dr, Larry Higgins is here to explain what may be causing the discomfort and how you can amend your routine to avoid shoulder pain and still build muscle.

What causes pain in the lower back?

Pain in the lower back can sometimes present itself as pain in other parts of the body like the leg. Or maybe it feels like nerve pain, often called sciatica. But, as Dr. Julia Silver explains, the first step is diagnosis. Watch to learn more.

When to get help for burns

Not all burns can be easily cured with a home remedy. To know when you need to get help for burns, you need to first understand the different kinds. Dr. Michael VanRooyen explains the different degrees of burns and when it's time to seek medical attention.

Sinusitis

Millions of Americans get sinusitis each year. The key to a quick recovery is proper drainage, which is best achieved by staying hydrated, inhaling steam several times daily, taking decongestants, and sleeping with the head elevated.

Rubbing it in

Pain relief creams and ointments can get the medicine right to where it hurts, and the smell is often familiar and soothing. But do they work?

When something like a knee hurts, there's a natural tendency to rub it. And if it really hurts, most of us will think about popping a pain-relieving pill of some kind — acetaminophen (Tylenol) for starters, or perhaps one of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn).

Strength training relieves chronic neck pain

ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. 

In the journals

Most of us are troubled by neck pain at some point in our lives. The most common culprit is overuse or misuse of muscles and ligaments. Today's computer-dominated workplace can be especially tough on necks, because so many of us sit for long periods with shoulders slumped and heads extended toward monitors.

Pain relief, opioids, and constipation

Constipation from pain medication – such as opioids – is a common problem

Prescription opioids provide pain relief, but constipation from pain medication is an all too common side effect.

As we age, pain and pain control become an important issue. Many of the conditions that cause pain disproportionately affect people starting at about age 65. In some surveys, half of respondents ages 60 and older have said that they suffer from chronic pain. About 70% of cancer deaths occur in people ages 65 and older, so cancer pain is frequently the older person's problem.

Gout: Joint pain and more

It starts with a bang, often in the dead of night. The pain is severe, almost unbearable, and fever may make you feel even worse. Lying still helps a bit, but even the touch of a sheet can be excruciating. And, worst of all, your distress may be greeted with a sly smile instead of supportive sympathy. You are suffering from gout, a common disease that's often misunderstood.

Myths and realities

Gout is an old disease, and erroneous beliefs about it are almost just as old. The name, in fact, is based on a misconception It's derived from a Latin word that means "a drop"; ancient physicians chose the name because they believed the pain resulted from a drop of "a bad humor." Over the centuries, gout was considered a rich man's disease, a product of overeating, excessive drinking, and corpulence. Modern research, however, shows that gout has no relationship to wealth or social status and little to diet and drink. But one traditional view has proved correct: Gout is a man's disease, occurring seven to nine times more often in men than women. It's also a common disease, striking an estimated 3.4 million American men annually. That makes gout the most prevalent form of inflammatory arthritis in men older than 40.

What to do about tennis elbow

Tennis elbow is the common term for lateral epicondylitis, an inflammatory condition of the tendon that connects the extensor muscles of the lower arm to a bony prominence on the outside of the elbow called the lateral epicondyle. The condition causes pain at the point where the tendon attaches to the epicondyle. The pain may radiate to the forearm and wrist, and in severe cases, grip strength may lessen. It can become difficult to perform simple actions like lifting a cup, turning a key, or shaking hands.

As many as half of all people who play racket sports have the condition, but most people who have tennis elbow didn't acquire it by playing tennis, squash, or racquetball. It can result from any activity that involves twisting or gripping motions in which the forearm muscles are repeatedly contracted against resistance, such as pruning bushes or pulling weeds, using a screwdriver, or playing a violin. Tennis elbow is an occupational hazard for professional gardeners, dentists, and carpenters.

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