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Pain Archive

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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.

If you have knee pain, telehealth may help

Published January 11, 2022
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the number one cause of chronic knee pain, affecting nearly a quarter of people 40 or older. A recent study of people with overweight or obesity and OA showed that telehealth visits can be an effective way to provide care and may even help with weight loss, which can improve symptoms and prevent OA from worsening.

Got back pain? Can virtual reality provide real pain relief?

Published December 10, 2021

Chronic low back pain is a leading cause of long-lasting pain and disability worldwide. Treatment options help some people but not all, leaving millions seeking safe, effective treatment. An 8-week program using a virtual reality device aims to offers lasting relief, but valid questions about evidence of effectiveness have not yet been answered.

A single-session class offers chronic low back pain relief

Published December 1, 2021
A single two-hour pain management class may offer months-long relief from chronic low back pain compared with other approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy and back health education.

Help for your aching back

Published December 1, 2021
Short-term (acute) and chronic back pain can be managed through a variety of strategies. For short-term pain, over-the-counter pain relievers, heat, and moving as much as possible can help. Chronic back pain may require assistance from a doctor, which could include medication, physical therapy, and rarely surgery. People considering surgery for back pain should consider getting a second opinion. Surgery sometimes is not successful at relieving pain.

Drug therapy needs time to treat heart-related chest pain

Published November 1, 2021
Chest pain with exertion affects about one-quarter of people with stable coronary artery disease. A 2021 study found that these individuals can often eliminate their symptoms by following conservative drug therapy, without needing a stent or bypass surgery.

"Pandemic posture" hurting your back? You can fix it!

Published October 1, 2021
"Pandemic posture" refers to poor posture from slouching at a desk or on a couch during time at home during the pandemic, and it can result in back or neck pain. To reduce pain, doctors recommend exercising every day; working with a physical therapist to learn the right way to sit up straight and how to strengthen the muscles that support the posture; using a chair with cushioning for the buttocks and support for the lower back; using a footrest; keeping a computer monitor at eye level; and using an ergonomically designed mouse and wrist pad.

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