Articles on Pain and Headache

Pain may be described as the unpleasant awareness of a noxious stimulus or bodily harm. Individuals experience pain by various hurts and aches, and sometimes through more serious injuries or illnesses. Pain of any type is the most common reason for physician consultation in the United States, prompting half of all Americans to seek medical care annually. It is a major symptom in many medical conditions, significantly interfering with a person's quality of life and general functioning. Diagnosis is based on describing pain in various ways — according to duration, intensity, type (dull, burning, throbbing or stabbing), source or location in body.

Headache is a term used to describe aching or pain that occurs in one or more areas of the head, face, mouth or neck. Headache can be chronic, recurrent or occasional. The pain can be mild or severe enough to disrupt daily activities. Headaches fall into two categories — primary and secondary.
Primary headaches account for about 90% of all headaches, and include three types — tension, cluster and migraine. Tension headache is the most common. Episodes usually begin in middle age and are often associated with the stress, anxiety and depression that can develop during these years. Cluster headaches occur daily over a period of weeks, sometimes months. They may disappear and then recur during the same season in the following year. A migraine headache is a throbbing or pulsating headache that is often one-sided and associated with nausea, vomiting, sleep disruption, depression and sensitivity to light, sound and smells. Attacks are often recurrent and tend to become less severe as the migraine sufferer ages.
Secondary headaches are associated with an underlying condition such as cerebrovascular disease, head trauma, infection, tumor or metabolic disorder. Head pain also can result from syndromes involving the eyes, ears, neck, teeth or sinuses. In these cases, the underlying condition must be diagnosed and treated. Also, certain medications may include headache as a side effect.

04/26/2010 - Articles

Integrated approach reduces chronic low back pain disability

Chronic low back pain is a common problem which often interferes with everyday life and prevents a person returning to work. Treatment is often ineffective, leaving the patient with chronic low back pain living with disability and not able to carry out their usual job.  But the situation can be improved if the workplace takes part in an integrated care approach to chronic low back pain, according to a new study. Read more

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04/20/2010 - Articles

Dealing with polymyalgia

Polymyalgia rheumatica is one of the most common chronic conditions affecting older people. Typically, polymyalgia involves pain and stiffness of acute onset in the shoulder, hip, neck and torso. Many other conditions are similar to polymyalgia, so diagnosis can be tricky. Around 700 people per 100,000 of the population have polymyalgia in the over-50s age group. Read more

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03/30/2010 - Articles

Botox may help with migraine

Migraine is a common condition which produces pain that is more debilitating than that of the ordinary tension headache. Dermatologists have noted that people attending to have botulinum toxin (botox) injections to treat wrinkles sometimes reported relief from migraine. But follow up research failed to show that botox was any better than placebo for migraine. Read more

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12/23/2009 - Articles

Knee Osteoarthritis: Is Arthroscopy Any Help?

A lot of people with osteoarthritis of the knee joint undergo an operative procedure called arthroscopy, with or without scraping away of rough and loose tissue in the joint cavity (called debridem Read more

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12/23/2009 - Articles

The commonest facial pain

Trigeminal neuralgia, although uncommon in itself, is the commonest cause of facial pain. Read more

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12/23/2009 - Articles

Migraine with aura increases stroke risk in women

Migraine with aura appears to be a risk factor for stroke in women, according to a new study. But the absolute risk is modified by other stroke risk factors. Read more

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12/23/2009 - Articles

Recognizing Pain in Alzheimer Patients

Just because someone has Alzheimer's, doesn't mean they can't perceive pain. They may be unable to tell people about it, though. Read more

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12/22/2009 - Articles

Shingles, when you're older

Introduction Shingles is a painful skin condition that people associate in their minds with chickenpox. It is, in fact, caused by a re-emergence of the virus that causes chickenpox (varicella), many years after the original childhood illness. Read more

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11/16/2009 - Articles
Neck pain

Neck pain - patient preference should guide treatment

Neck pain is common, with around 15% of the population reporting a new episode each year.  Put another way,  around half of the adult population will have neck pain during any six month period and for 5% the pain causes some disability.  Recurrence and persistence of neck pain are also only too common.  There is a form of neck pain called cervical radiculopathy which is even more troublesome.  Cervical radiculopathy radiates into the arm and causes numbness, weakness and tingling in the arm and shooting pains.  Fortunately, cervical radiculopathy is one of the less common forms of neck pain. Read more

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09/14/2009 - Articles

"Oh - My Aching Back!" -- Part 1

It's said that 2/3 of adults suffer from low back pain at some time in their lives. Maybe you've had your attack already. Read more

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