By Monica Mallampalli, PhD, Healthy Women

Cynthia Toussaint spent 13 ½ years with burning pain spreading through her body, initiated from a torn hamstring during ballet class.

As the pain spread, she was forced to stop dancing. Her doctors would not diagnose her properly, telling her it was psychological—a common yet inaccurate diagnosis for women suffering from pain. They gave reasons from “stage fright” to “enjoying the secondary gain of attention” from her partner. None would even refer her for psychiatry help they claimed she needed.

It took years for her to finally be diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) by a specialist. Since then, she has founded For Grace, a nonprofit geared to bettering... Read more

A brain aneurysm is usually diagnosed using an MRI scan and angiography (MRA or a CT scan and angiography (CTA)

An MRI scan is usually used to look for aneurysms in the brain that haven’t ruptured. This type of scan uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of your brain.

A CT scan is usually preferred if it’s thought the aneurysm has ruptured and there’s bleeding on the brain. This type of scan takes a series of X-rays, which are then assembled by a computer into a detailed 3D image.

In some cases, a ruptured aneurysm is not picked up by a CT scan. If a CT scan is negative but your symptoms strongly suggest you have a ruptured aneurysm, a test called a lumbar puncture will usually be... Read more

Medically reviewed by Deborah Weatherspoon, PHD Written by Ian Franks – Updated September 18, 2018

What is nociceptive pain?

Nociceptive pain is one of the two main types of physical pain. The other is called neuropathic pain.

Nociceptive pain is the most common type. It’s caused by potentially harmful stimuli being detected nociceptors around the body.

Nociceptors are a type of receptor that exists to feel all and any pain that’s likely to be caused by the body being harmed. Harm can include mechanical or physical damage to various parts of the body. For example, the damaged areas could include the skin, muscles, bones or other tissues. The nociceptors can also detect chemical thermal... Read more

Medically reviewed by Stacy Sampson, DO Written by James Roland – Updated on May 18, 2017

What is intractable pain?

Intractable pain refers to a type of pain that can’t be controlled with standard medical care. Intractable essentially means difficult to treat or manage.

This type of pain isn’t curable, so the focus of treatment is to reduce your discomfort.

The condition is also known as intractable pain disease, or IP. If you have intractable pain, it’s constant and severe enough that you may need to be bedridden or hospitalized for care.

Types of pain

Pain tends to be categorized as acute or chronic.

Acute Pain

Acute pain is the type of sudden pain you feel when... Read more

“Why do you guys always want to know how much stress I have?” While the patient who asked this question the other day had fibromyalgia, she could have had chronic low back or neck pain, chronic daily headaches, complex regional pain syndrome, or any other chronic pain condition. She was expressing a sentiment that I often hear in one form or another.

It goes something like the following: “I’m here to talk about my pain and what we can do about it, but you ask me about all these things that are unrelated to pain, like whether I worry, whether the worry keeps me up at night, what’s going on at home, whether my spouse believes me that I hurt as much as I do. In effect, I’m here to talk about my pain but you want to know how... Read more

What is fatigue?

Fatigue is an often misused and overused term for “tired”. But fatigue and passing or short-term tiredness, laziness or even drowsiness are different.

In the context of work fatigue, which is what we are focusing on in talking about fatigue management strategies, fatigue is:

Mental and/or physical exhaustion which reduces a persons ability to perform work safely and effectively. In a nutshell, fatigue stops a person from functioning and performing normally.

Fatigue is like driving tired; it’s an extreme and very real danger which results in major incidents and accidents, but it is often swept under the rug or ignored because its impacts aren’t obviously dangerous or highly visible.

... Read more

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