Pain & Arthritis

Pain is a sensation of discomfort caused by the stimulation of nerve endings that can occur anywhere in the body. It may be localized in one area or generalized (throughout the body) as well as short term (acute) or long term (chronic).

Here you will find answers to your questions about the many conditions and diseases related to both acute and chronic pain.

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Pain Basics

Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. It may be associated with aging (e.g., joint pain), exercise, the use of alcohol, injury (e.g., pinched nerves) or a variety of conditions and diseases.

Pain management is the control of acute or chronic pain or discomfort. Other techniques include cryotherapy (cold therapy), cognitive behavioral therapy, electrical therapy, immobilization therapy (e.g., casts, braces), injection therapy and nerve blocks.

Pain can be classified as either acute (lasting for a brief time period) or chronic (lasting for at least six months) in duration. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder. Others include myositis, Behcet's Disease and myofascial pain syndrome.

Arthritis is any pain that occurs in a joint. The two main forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Others include juvenile arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, Reiter's syndrome, gout and pseudogout.

Pain Imaging & Lab Tests

Imaging techniques that may be used to diagnose pain causes include CAT scan, MRI, ultrasound and x-ray. Specialized tests include arthrography (joint x-ray), epiduroscopy (used to visualize scar tissue), discogram (CAT scan of spinal discs) myelography (contrast x-ray of the spinal cord), DEXA scans (to estimate bone density) and bone scans (to detect injury or disease).

Various laboratory tests help pinpoint pain sources. Blood tests include complete blood counts, C-reactive protein tests, waste product tests, rheumatoid factor tests, sedimentation rates and others. Urine tests include uric acid tests, creatinine tests, bilirubin tests and others. Other tests include spinal tap, biopsy, cystoscopy, synovial fluid analysis or enzyme test.

  • Bone Scan
  • CAT Scan & Pain Disorders
  • MRI & Pain Disorders
  • X ray & Pain Disorders
  • Pain Related Blood Tests
  • C Reactive Protein Test
  • CBC in Pain Diagnosis
  • Enzyme Tests & Pain Diagnosis
  • Rheumatoid Factor Test
  • Spinal Tap
  • Sedimentation Rate & Pain Disorders
  • Urine Tests & Pain Disorders

Learn more about Pain & Arthritis

Headache & Migraine

Types of headaches include migraines, cluster headaches and tension headaches. Types of migraines include migraine with aura, migraine without aura, complicated migraine, basilar artery migraine, cyclic migraine syndrome, hemiplegic migraine, menstrual migraine and migraine equivalent (e.g., abdominal migraine).

Underlying conditions may also cause headaches.

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Cluster Headache
  • Tension Headache

Chest, Abdomen & Related Pain

Chest pain refers to pain or discomfort in the chest area, which includes the heart, lungs, esophagus, ribs, sternum (breastbone), muscles, tendons and nerves. Chest pain may be associated with heart conditions such as angina or thoracic outlet syndrome. It may also be caused by non-cardiac conditions such as costochondritis.

Abdominal pain originates from the chest to the groin, either in organs there or as referred pain from other areas of the body. Causes of abdominal pain may include indigestion, food poisoning and anxiety. Serious infections such as appendicitis and peritonitis also cause abdominal pain.

  • Angina
  • Chest Pain
  • Costochondritis
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Transitory Benign Chest Wall Pain
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Appendectomy
  • Appendicitis
  • Gas & Bloating
  • Peritonitis

Arm & Leg Pain

Arm pain may include elbow pain and/or wrist pain. Leg pain may include knee pain, foot pain and other leg pains. Pain in these areas can stem from a variety of injuries or conditions including fractures, tendinitis (e.g., Achilles tendinitis, tennis elbow, golfer elbow), shin splints, carpal tunnel syndrome and more.

Pain in these regions can affect daily functioning (e.g., causing gait disturbances, such as limping). In addition, pain can originate from other body areas (e.g., back, shoulders). Certain pain conditions primarily affect the arms and legs (e.g., complex regional pain syndrome).

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Elbow, Wrist & Arm Pain
  • Foot Pain
  • Gait Disturbances
  • Knee Pain
  • Leg Pain
  • Osgood Schlatter Disease
  • Shin Splints

Back, neck & shoulder pain

Back, neck and shoulder pain are common because of spinal anatomy. These areas are vulnerable to injury, such as sprains and strains. Other disorders that may cause back pain include spinal stenosis, herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, pinched nerves, scoliosis and sciatica.

Neck pain may result from muscle strain, injury (e.g., whiplash) and conditions. Shoulder pain is commonly caused by dislocation, separation, tendonitis and fractures. Treatment varies according to the type, location, cause and severity of pain.

  • Back Pain
  • Back Sprain or Strain
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Herniated Disc
  • Neck Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Spinal Anatomy
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spine Surgery
  • Whiplash

Ear, Eye & Face Pain

Pain can occur anywhere the body, including the ears, eyes and face. Common causes of ear pain include middle ear infections and foreign bodies lodged in the ear canal. Ear pain may also stem from pain in another part of the body (e.g., dental pain).

Eye pain also has numerous causes, which range in severity from an eyelash in the eye or eyestrain to glaucoma and eyes cancers. Orofacial pain may stem from causes such as toothaches of nondental origin, dental disease or other conditions (e.g., oral cancers, TMJ disorder, cranial neuralgias). It may also be caused by trauma from injury or surgery (e.g., anesthesia dolorosa).

  • Cranial Neuralgias
  • Ear Pain
  • Eye Pain
  • Orofacial Pain
  • TMJ Disorder
  • Temporal Arteritis