Pain Archive


Which antidepressants are best for treating chronic pain?

Antidepressants are used to treat chronic pain even in people who do not have depression. A 2023 study found that serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors were the most effective and treated the largest number of pain conditions.

Can cannabis help relieve pain?

A growing number of adults ages 65 and older are turning to cannabis to treat and manage their pain. While many individuals endorse its effectiveness and some studies have supported its use for pain management, the science is still inconclusive. Doctors can’t prescribe cannabis like conventional medications, but in many states, they can recommend its use for certain conditions, including pain.

Exercising with a flare-up of knee arthritis

Staying active when knee osteoarthritis flares helps the joint stay flexible. But activity should be modified to take pressure off the knee. That could mean walking instead of running, or playing pickleball instead of tennis. Other activities that are easy on the joint include riding a stationary bike, using an elliptical machine, practicing yoga, swimming, walking pain-free distances on flat terrain, doing upper body strength training, or core strengthening. Warming up before activity helps to loosen stiff knee joints.

Take arms against perplexing pain

Pain in the shoulder, elbow, or wrist without obvious injury is common. Possible causes include arthritis, bursitis, frozen shoulder, rotator cuff tear, tendinitis, or nerve compression in the carpal tunnel or the cubital tunnel. Home remedies include rest, ice, compression, or elevation; over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers; and devices such as a splint or brace. Other treatments include physical therapy or steroid injections. Surgery is usually a last resort.

Know your pain relievers

Over-the-counter (OTC) acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain. If people need OTC medication for pain relief daily for two weeks or longer, or if the maximum recommended dose on the label no longer helps, they should see their doctor. Some individuals should only take an NSAID with medical approval. These include anyone taking a blood thinner and those with a history of peptic ulcers, impaired kidney function, or heart disease.

Reduce or avoid back pain during these everyday activities

A number of strategies can help when back pain strikes suddenly. When driving, for example, a person can turn on heated seats if a vehicle has them, or use a lumbar pillow. Someone who has pain when sitting at a desk can get up, walk around, and do some stretches. If back pain lasts more than a week, the person should see a doctor for an evaluation. The first line of defense will most likely be exercise and strengthening regimens—two keys to staving off an aching back.

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