Pain Archive


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

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.

What to do about sinusitis

Sinusitis occurs when blocked sinuses cannot drain and the backed-up mucus gets infected. The simplest and often most effective treatment is daily nasal irrigation. It can also help to drink a lot of water, inhale steam, and sleep with the head elevated.

Get a helping hand for pain

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

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

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

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.

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