Knowledge Base

Alcohol and chronic pain

People have been using alcohol to help cope with chronic pain for many years. Many people also may use alcohol as a way to manage stress, and chronic pain often can be a significant stressor. Research studies have found that as many as 28% of people with chronic pain use alcohol as a pain management… Read more »

Oh, my aching back: Learning about spinal osteoarthritis

For many of us, pain is a big part of the aging process: Our joints may get stiff and achy, and we may have trouble moving around the way we used to. Since the back has joints just like the other bony parts of the body (such as your hips and knees), it’s no surprise that your… Read more »

Pain and the brain

Pain is complicated. It is a result of much more than the initial disease or injury that set it off. In the past, people believed that pain signals traveled only one way – from a nerve injury up to the brain. Scientists have now learned that the brain has the ability to act like a… Read more »

‘Off-label’ use of medication

What is a medication label? Before a new medication can be sold on the market, the law requires that the manufacturer prove to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the medication is an effective and safe treatment for a particular medical condition. This is done through months, and sometimes years, of costly scientific research,… Read more »

Thinking of joining a clinical trial?

 What is a clinical trial? A clinical trial is a research study that is designed to answer health questions. This research study is performed on human volunteers who consent to participating. This article explains some basics of clinical trials and discusses some of the pros and cons of participating in a trial. There are many… Read more »

Why physical therapy?

If you have back pain, you may benefit from physical therapy, a well-established method for treating all types of back conditions.  Using techniques such as therapeutic exercise, functional training, mobilization/manipulation, massage, electrotherapy and ultrasound, physical therapists help restore function, reduce pain and prevent disability. When should you see a physical therapist for back pain? If… Read more »

Breakthrough pain: Finding the right balance

The term “breakthrough pain” was originally coined by anesthesiologists. After surgery, patients are almost always given some type of post-operative pain medication. Sometimes, however, pain “breaks through” the medication’s ability to control pain. In recent years, breakthrough pain has come to mean any pain that occurs despite pain medication. The meaning of the term is… Read more »