Pain Disorders

Acute pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert you to possible injury and the need to take care of yourself.

However, chronic pain is different—it is pain that persists for weeks, months, even years. Many chronic pain conditions affect older adults. Chronic pain may include headache, low back pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to the peripheral nerves or to the central nervous system itself), and psychogenic pain (pain not due to an obvious disease or injury or any visible sign of damage to the nervous system).

If you do not see a topic of interest to you, please try the A to Z listing of health conditions.

recommended reading
These articles provide in-depth information and are written to help you make the best healthcare decisions for you and your loved ones.
Chronic Female Pelvic Pain
Chronic Pain
Back Problems and Injuries
Herniated Disc
Low Back Pain
Neck Pain
Neck Problems and Injuries
Spinal Stenosis
Cluster Headaches
Migraine Headaches
Tension Headaches
Cancer Pain
Peripheral Neuropathy
Plantar Fasciitis
Temporomandibular (TM) Disorders
Trigeminal Neuralgia (Tic Douloureux)
decision points
When dealing with an illness or health problem, you have to make decisions—when to call a doctor, which test to have, and what treatment to use. Decision Points are designed to help you learn about your choices and options, and to prepare you to work with your healthcare provider to make the best decision for your care.
Should I have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan for low back pain?
Should I have surgery for a herniated disc?
Should I see a chiropractor to treat low back pain?
Should I have imaging tests to evaluate my headaches?
Should I take a prophylactic antimigraine medication?
Should I take prescription medications for tension headaches?
action sets
Action Sets are designed to help you take an active role in managing a health condition. Action Sets provide the tools and information you can use in the day-to-day management of your health conditions.
Exercises to reduce low back pain
Lifting properly to prevent back injury
Identifying and avoiding migraine triggers
Identifying and avoiding tension headache triggers
Managing a headache effectively
tests & procedures

You doctor may recommend one or more of the following tests to evaluate your condition.

Blood Urea Nitrogen
Bone Scan
Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
Computed Tomography (CT) Scan of the Head and Face
Electroencephalography (EEG)
Electromyography and Nerve Conduction Studies
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Head
Pelvic Examination
Pelvic Ultrasound
Spinal X-Ray

For other tests and diagnostic procedures use the section of this site called Medical Tests A to Z.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Smoking Cessation
Stress Management
medication center
medication assistance

This section provides you with an alphabetical listing of more than 1,000 medications, including prescription drugs and those you can purchase over-the-counter. Just select your medications to learn more about them. You can choose your medication by brand name or generic name.

Medications A-Z

If you are having difficulty paying for your medications you may qualify for financial assistance or free medications. Visit the Medication Assistance Center to learn about available medication and insurance programs.

Don't let financial problems stop you from getting the treatment you need; there are resources and organizations that may be able to help you.

additional resources

This listing provides you with Internet sites that are sponsored by government agencies or are well-known and credible national organizations.

American Council for Headache Education
American Chronic Pain Association
American Pain Foundation
MAGNUM: The National Migraine Association
MEDLINEplus-Section on Pain
National Fibromyalgia Association
National Fibromyalgia Partnership
National Headache Foundation
National Pain Foundation

Surfing the Internet
When looking at Internet sites, remember that the information can be sponsored by anyone. Take into account the sponsoring group or individual when gathering information or help. Be especially careful about giving out personal or financial information.

Learn more about surfing the web:

Artritis - [Arthritis]
Ciática - [Sciatica]
Cómo contender con el dolor crónico - [Dealing With Chronic Pain]
Dolor de cuello - [Neck Pain]
Dolor de espalda - [Back Pain]
Dolor en el talón y fascitis plantar - [Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis]
Dolores de cabeza en niños - [Headaches in Children]
Dolores de cabeza en racimos - [Cluster Headaches]
Dolores de cabeza por tensión - [Tension Headaches]
Fibromialgia - [Fibromyalgia]
Herpes zoster o herpes zona - [Shingles]
Jaquecas o migrañas - [Migraine Headaches]
Posibles causas de los dolores de cabeza - [Possible Headache Causes]
Trastorno temporomandibular - [Temporomandibular (TM) Disorder]

Last modified on: 30 June 2015