Pain Management

I seem to be able to sense when other people are in pain. Some of my friends say that I'm psychic. Is that possible?

You may be someone who is very accurate in reading other people's body language. Many people who are in pain exhibit pain behaviors that are subtle but visible to the sensitive or extremely observant person. For example, facial expressions such as wincing or even tension around the eyes or mouth can communicate discomfort and/or pain.

I keep hearing about alternative therapies for chronic pain. I have neuropathies in both my hands and feet from diabetes. Would this kind of treatment help me? Where do I go to get it?

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) offers the patient alternative therapies that complement (go along with) traditional approaches offered by medical doctors and other health care professionals. Sometimes CAM medicine is referred to as unconventional or nontraditional therapy.

My neighbor has this spicy cream she puts on her back when it hurts. Does this stuff really do anything for pain? I'm thinking about trying it on my bad knee.

You may be referring to capsaicin cream. This is a topical agent that acts as a counterirritant. The nervous system pays attention to the new messages of skin irritation. This may override messages to the nervous system from the primary (main) lesion or problem.

I have an aunt who is practically talking herself into a nursing home placement. She is very negative about everything. She can't seem to stop talking about her back pain. Is there some way to help her break out of this mindset where she seems stuck?

Your aunt may be engaging in an experience called pain catastrophizing. The is the tendency to think about pain, mull it over and over in her mind, and magnify her symptoms. Pain catastrophizing is made worse when the patient feels helpless about his or her pain.

Impact of Chronic Pain on Marriage

When one spouse hurts, the other spouse is usually acutely aware of it. Having the understanding and support of a loved one can help us through painful conditions. But what happens when the pain lasts longer than expected? How do partners cope when the problem becomes chronic or even permanent?

Are Popular Alternative Pain Therapies Effective?

Many chronic pain patients have been not been helped by traditional medical care. As a result, they have turned to alternative ways to deal with their pain. There isn't much evidence yet to support complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches. What do we know so far?

In this report, researchers review all systematic reviews published about a wide range of CAM treatments. They searched seven different databases to find articles on any treatment-related topics on CAM.

Why do women complain so much about pain compared with men?

For certain types of injuries, it does seem that women are affected more with pain than men. While years ago it was thought that it was because women were the "weaker" sex, research is beginning to show that women do actually have more pain and experience in a different way from men in some instances. How and why this occurs, doctors don't know yet.

What are the different treatments available for complex regional pain syndrome?

There are many options to try if someone is living with the extremely painful complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). What might work for one person may not work for another, so there may have to be a period of trying different methods before one may help relieve the pain.

Does CRPS ever go away? My mother has it and I can't believe how much pain she has.

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a syndrome that doctors don't fully understand yet. For unknown reasons, after a seemingly minor injury, someone can develop the extremely painful syndrome. In many cases, it does go away - but that seems to be a case of if it will go away on its own, it does so before you've had it for too long.

Two Methods for Diagnosing Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Equally Effective

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), which used to be called reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) is a puzzling illness for both doctors and patients. It's a syndrome that doctors don't understand as they don't yet know what causes it. The syndrome causes intense pain that can be described as aching or burning. There can also be a change in skin color, the temperature of the skin over the affected area may feel different, and there may be sweating on just that area as well.

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