A concussion is more than a knock on the head that makes your mind foggy for a while. Research has linked concussion with a greater risk for dementia in older age, while other studies suggest that the concussions many teen athletes sustain while playing sports such as football and ice … 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.
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People who suffer migraine symptoms know they can include an intense pulsing or throbbing ache on the front or side of the head. The pain can last anywhere from four to 72 hours, and it’s severe enough for many sufferers to describe it as feeling like a vise grip is … Read More
If you think you’re imagining things when a certain type of weather seems to trigger a headache, think again. In fact, many people report that they suffer from a weather headache if a storm is approaching. They also report that storms aren’t the only meteorological phenomenon that can result in … Read More
Trigger finger happens when a finger gets stuck in a bent position, but the finger in question is not the one most people associate with pulling a trigger. Rather, the ring finger and the thumb are most often affected by this condition, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
What … Read More
If you’re noticing a burning, tingling sensation across the skin of your torso, it’s possible you may have shingles. About one in three Americans develop shingles at some point in their lifetime; the condition hits people who have suffered chickenpox, and your shingles risk increases as you get older simply … Read More
Whether you’re suffering from tendinitis or bronchitis, inflammation can make you feel awful. You pop an NSAID (like ibuprofen or aspirin), but it doesn’t seem to touch your pain. Plus, now you’re suffering from its side effects—nausea, vomiting, constipation, and headaches. If only there was something you could do (or … Read More
You had a fall and suffered the tell-tale scrape on your knee. Within a week, it’s filled in with green pus. Don’t worry, there’s no alien at play here. Pus is a sign that your body’s defense system has kicked in. All you need to do is figure out what … Read More
“Mom! You’ve got yellow finger disease again,” my daughter said as I emerged from a dip in the cool lake. I looked down and sure enough, four fingers on my left hand and two on my right were a pale yellow. A few of my toes had also lost their … Read More
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FM) is a chronic pain condition that causes aches and discomfort throughout the body. It also causes fatigue, sleep disruption, and damage to mood and memory. While there are a slew of treatment options for this condition ranging from infrared saunas to medications to supplements, new research shows … Read More
Like the upper back, the mid-back region is very stable, and this stability gives it some protection from injury. But the same underlying conditions and circumstances that can result in upper back pain also can result in middle back pain. These include:
Poor posture: This is a major risk factor … Read More