pain

About 100 million Americans live with chronic pain. For them, a condition like arthritis, fibromyalgia, nerve damage, migraine headaches, or cancer has caused unrelenting pain that persists day after day, month after month.

Migraine headaches are 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.

Non-Slip Shoes: Follow These Tips to Reduce Fall Risk

At times, it’s not the obstacles or surface or lighting, but rather the shoes you are wearing around the house or while exercising that raise fall risk. The Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, and others offer tips for choosing the best everyday non-slip shoes, as well as shoes for walking and … Read More

Foot and Ankle Pain: Common Causes and How to Manage

Your feet and ankles can attract a frightening array of diseases, and they can develop almost as many painful non-disease conditions. However, one of the most common causes of foot pain is not a disease, a deformity, or an injury. It’s shoes: those that are too tight or too loose, … Read More

Overcoming White Coat Syndrome

Factors such as your emotional state, physical activity, pain level, and intake of caffeine or nicotine can drive up your blood pressure in the short term, making it difficult to get an accurate reading in the doctor’s office. This condition is referred to as the “white-coat” effect or “white-coat” syndrome. … Read More

Reduce Fall Risk with Assistive Devices

Canes, walkers, and other assistive devices offer a triple play of better balance, improved mobility, and fewer falls. If a person can get past the idea that assistive devices are just for “old people,” they can re-open a world that might have become smaller as a result of balance and … Read More

The Link Between Arthritis and Diet

According to the World Health Organization, an unhealthy diet is one of the major risk factors for a range of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and other conditions that are linked to obesity. While there is limited research on possible direct links between diet and arthritis, there is … Read More

Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Do They Work?

Inflammation is a hot topic these days. With so many people suffering from chronic diseases, we are all looking for ways to reduce our risk. It turns out that diet is a major risk factor for inflammation and chronic disease. This fact has many people asking, “What anti-inflammatory foods should … Read More

Pus: An Unmistakable Sign of Infection

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

8 Diverticulitis Symptoms You Should Watch Out For

What is Diverticulitis? Diverticulitis—a disease of the colon that causes lower abdominal pain—is becoming increasingly common in the United States in the over-50 population.[1] As we age, become more sedentary, and eat Western-style diets devoid of fiber, many of us start to develop small, weak areas in the muscular wall … Read More

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