News 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.

08/16/2010 - News

How You Feel About Arthritis Affects Your Pain

If you suffer from joint pain due to arthritis, you know that your arthritis pain fluctuates over time and varies in location. Read more

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05/12/2010 - News

Obesity Increases Risk for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a debilitating condition characterized by chronic, body-wide pain and tender points in the muscles, tendons, joints, and other soft tissues. According to the results of a study published in the May 2010 issue of the journal Arthritis Care & Research, overweight and obesity are associated with an increased risk of fibromyalgia, especially among women with low levels of physical exercise. Read more

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05/10/2010 - News

Financial Barriers Limit Use of Herpes Zoster Vaccine

Although the herpes zoster vaccine has been shown to be effective in preventing herpes zoster infection and the painful complication of postherpetic neuralgia, the herpes zoster vaccine is not routinely administered to older adults who are at increased risk for herpes zoster and its complications. In the May 4, 2010 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, investigators report that barriers, particularly financial barriers, hamper the efforts of physicians to provide the herpes zoster vaccine to their patients. Read more

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05/10/2010 - News

Herpes Zoster Vaccine is Safe in Older Adults

Herpes zoster, or shingles, occurs with increasing frequency and severity as adults get older. Herpes zoster is often associated with pain and discomfort, which may be significant enough to interfere with functional status and quality of life and may persist for weeks, months, or even years due to a complication known as postherpetic neuralgia. In the May 4, 2010 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, scientists report that the herpes zoster vaccine is safe and well-tolerated in older, immunocompetent adults. Read more

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04/16/2010 - News

Fusion Procedures Becoming More Common for Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of one or more areas of the spine which can put pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerves. Depending on which nerves are affected, spinal stenosis can cause pain, numbness, loss of sensation, or problems with bowel or bladder function. In recent decades, surgery for older patients with spinal stenosis has become increasingly common and there are many different options for surgical intervention. In the April 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, investigators report that complex, invasive spinal fusion procedures are becoming more common. Read more

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03/05/2010 - News

Mind May Triumph Over Medication for Low Back Pain

Low back pain is an extremely common problem that can interfere with one’s work, recreation, or activities of daily living. There are many approaches to treating low back pain, including rest, physical therapy, medications, chiropractic manipulation, and acupuncture. According to a recent study published online in The Lancet, a type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) significantly improves subacute and chronic low back pain both in the short term and for up to 1 year compared to medical advice alone. Read more

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01/21/2010 - News

Scientists Find Genetic Link Between Migraine and Depression

Previous research has demonstrated a strong association between migraine headache and depression. According to a new study published in the journal Neurology, this link between migraine, especially migraine with aura, and depression may be at least partially explained by genetic factors. Read more

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12/23/2009 - News

Osteoporosis drug might help in osteoarthritis too

  Osteoporosis drug might help in osteoarthritis too Read more

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12/22/2009 - News

Non-Drug Treatments for Pain

Many people with chronic pain problems don't want to take painkilling meds, or can't take them because of unacceptable side effects. They turn to alternatives, some of which may be effective in their particular case. Read more

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12/22/2009 - News

Risks of new rheumatoid arthritis drug

A review shows that tumor necrosis factor antibody, a new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, is linked to increased risk of cancer and serious infection. Read more

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