Stress, bright lights, sleep pattern changes, the weather—unfortunately, there are countless migraine triggers that can take you out of commission, and some of them aren’t always under our control. What you can control, however, is what you put into your body. Oftentimes, what you eat and drink on a daily basis … Read More
For more than 100 million Americans, conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, nerve damage, migraine headaches, or cancer can cause unrelenting pain. But relief is now available in new classes of drugs, yoga exercises, and inflammation-reducing diets.
Take migraine headaches, for instance, a common source of chronic pain affecting 1 in 10 Americans, most of them women. These are not just everyday headaches. Migraine symptoms also include nausea, vomiting, light and sound sensitivity, auras, and other visual disturbances. Because doctors still don’t fully understand what causes migraines, they haven’t been able to develop a cure for this condition. Treatments aim to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks and relieve symptoms when they start.
Fibromyalgia is another poorly understood condition. The estimated 5 million Americans who have this condition experience fatigue and pain in particular spots around their body. Other fibromyalgia symptoms include sleep problems, headaches, sensitivity to heat and cold, bowel issues, and memory problems.
Back problems are another source of chronic pain. Sciatica affects the lower back and legs. It starts in the sciatic nerve, which runs down the lower back, hips, buttocks, and legs. A herniated disk that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve often triggers sciatica. Spinal stenosis—a narrowing of the spine—can also put pressure on the sciatic nerve. Sciatica can be very painful, but medicines, physical therapy, and other treatments usually improve the pain within a few weeks.
Sometimes back pain can be traced to the kidneys, which are located on the back side of the body. Many people mistake kidney pain for back muscle strains. The most common causes of kidney pain are infection, kidney stones, polycystic kidney disease (in which growths called cysts form in the kidneys), bleeding, and kidney cancer. Because kidney pain can signal a more serious condition, it’s important to call the doctor for any constant, dull pain on one side of the back.
Are you or a loved one suffering from constant pain? Do you ever have severe headaches, back pain, or joint or hip pain?
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The medical issue I’m discussing today is best introduced by a politically incorrect (if not outright unprofessional) encounter between a colleague of mine and a patient of his. It happened a number of years ago; my colleague related the story to me one evening while we were passing around old … Read More
Up to 60 percent of adults have had nocturnal leg cramps. These recurrent, painful cramps usually strike the calf muscles and can cause frequent awakenings and severe insomnia. They are more common in people aged 50 years and older. If you’ve suffered through them, read on to learn how to … Read More
If you suffer from migraine headaches, you will likely have tried a range of treatments to ease the pain and any other migraine symptoms you suffer. Now there is a new medication available: erenumab (Aimovig). Erenumab, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on May 17, is treatment that … Read More
Your kidneys work as the filters of your bloodstream, removing waste materials and excess substances such as water while retaining things that your body needs, such as red blood cells and proteins. When blood enters your kidneys, it goes through structures called nephrons that filter out the waste products. These … Read More
If you have unsightly varicose veins, self-help strategies—such as weight loss, physical activity, not standing up for long periods of time, elevating your legs when sitting down, and wearing compression stockings—can sometimes mitigate their appearance. However, if these approaches don’t help, and if you’re bothered by the appearance of your … Read More
If you live or in a cold-weather climate, you’ve had experience “braving the elements.” And you also know that frigid weather is nothing to take lightly: The danger of frostbite is very real and can result in permanent damage, leading in severe cases to amputation. So at the first symptoms … Read More
Shingles pain can be debilitating for seniors. I experienced the effects of shingles several years ago, and it’s something I’d rather not repeat. I hope that sharing my personal experience will encourage you to get vaccinated or, if not, to recognize the symptoms of shingles early enough to benefit from … Read More
Does an anti-inflammatory diet play a role in pain prevention? It’s a worthy—and natural—strategy, considering that pain management has spawned an opioid crisis—one of the worst public health crises of our time. (See the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services post “HHS Acting Secretary Declares Public Health Emergency to … Read More