Pain Archive


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.

Know your pain relievers

Low back pain? Achy joints? Pulled muscle? One of the easiest remedies is to pop an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever. Most of the time, this does the trick. But which type of pain reliever should you take and how do you know when you have overused them?

Do we feel pain more at night?

Chronic pain typically fluctuates during the day and some research suggests that it worsens at night, potentially interfering with sleep. If pain keeps you awake at night, trying these strategies may help you sleep better.

Stopping pain before it turns chronic

Short-term (acute) pain occurs for various reasons, like a sports or exercise injury, a broken bone, a medical procedure, or a household accident. Many times the pain goes away or diminishes on its own or with a combination of rest and over-the-counter remedies. But if ignored, the pain may progress to longer and potentially more serious chronic pain that requires stronger medication, physical therapy, and other treatments.

Chest pain from inflamed joints

Costochondritis, which is caused by inflammation of the cartilage between the ribs and the breastbone, causes chest pain that's often mistaken for a heart problem.

What could cause my persistent neck pain?

Acute (short-term) pain usually comes from tissue injury or inflammation, known as nociceptive pain. Chronic (persistent) pain may have started as nociceptive pain, but over time the source may be from the brain itself. Understanding these different types of pain can help focus the treatment plan.

Does cannabis actually relieve pain — or is something else going on?

Treating pain is the most common reason offered by the millions of Americans who use products that contain cannabinoids. However, there's good evidence that a placebo provides very similar pain relief. But why?

When the first step is the hardest

Women are twice as likely as men to develop plantar fasciitis, the most common cause of chronic heel pain. Pain is worst in the morning and eases over the course of the day. Older adults, some athletes, and people who are overweight or obese are likelier to develop plantar fasciitis. Mainstay treatments include stretches, medication, night splints, and supportive shoes. Emerging treatments include injections of botulinum toxin (Botox), platelet-rich plasma, or fat.

Does weight loss surgery relieve pain?

Weight-loss surgery has many proven benefits. Now, data from a study of people who had bariatric surgery and were followed for several years suggests that it also improves pain and physical function.

New guidelines on opioids for pain relief: What you need to know

The CDC's 2016 guidelines for prescribing opioid medications aimed to reduce deaths from overdose. Recent revisions to these guidelines aim for refinement while emphasizing safety and the importance of finding the best treatment solution for each person.

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