Pain is a feeling triggered in the nervous system. Pain may be sharp or dull. It may come and go, or it may be constant. You may feel pain in one area of your body, such as your back, abdomen, chest, or pelvis. Or you may feel pain all over, such as when your muscles ache from the flu.
Pain can be helpful in diagnosing a problem. Without pain, you might seriously hurt yourself without knowing it, or you might not realize you have a medical problem that needs treatment. Once you take care of the problem, pain usually goes away. However, sometimes pain goes on for weeks, months or even years. This is called chronic pain. Sometimes chronic pain is due to an ongoing cause, such as cancer or arthritis. Sometimes the cause is unknown.
- As Many as 1 in 3 Experience New or Worse Pain with Yoga (08/03/2017, HealthDay)
- Persistent Pain May Lead to Memory Troubles (06/06/2017, HealthDay)
Treatments and Therapies
- Magnets for Pain Relief (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
- Medicines for Pain: From Osteoarthritis to Muscle Pain (Consumers Union of U.S., National Center for Farmworker Health) - PDF Also in Spanish
- Non-Drug Pain Relief: Imagery (Ohio State University Medical Center) - PDF
- Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (American Osteopathic Association)
- Pain (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
- Pain Relievers: MedlinePlus Health Topic (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
- Stress Management: Massage (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Daily Pain Diary (American Geriatrics Society) - PDF
- Pain Management Programs (American Chronic Pain Association)
- Quality of Life Scale: A Measure of Function for People with Pain (American Chronic Pain Association) - PDF
- Depression (Major Depressive Disorder) (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Going to the ER (American Chronic Pain Association)
- Pain Information Brochure (NIH Pain Consortium)
- Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
- Using Alcohol to Relieve Your Pain: What Are the Risks? (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) - PDF
- Genetics Home Reference: congenital insensitivity to pain (National Library of Medicine)
- Genetics Home Reference: erythromelalgia (National Library of Medicine)
- Genetics Home Reference: paroxysmal extreme pain disorder (National Library of Medicine)
Statistics and Research
- Facts and Figures on Pain (American Academy of Pain Medicine)
- Mind-Body Medicine Practices in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
- Pain Management (National Institute of Nursing Research)
- Untangling the Source of Ouch and Itch (National Institute of General Medical Sciences)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Associations between clinical diagnostic criteria and pretreatment patient-reported outcomes measures...
- Article: Determining the relationship of kinesiophobia with respiratory functions and functional...
- Article: The role of acromioplasty when repairing rotator cuff tears-no difference...
- Pain -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Find a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician (American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation)
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Also in Spanish
- NIH Pain Consortium