Pain

Your health questions answered: Is pain a part of Parkinson’s disease?

You ask. OHSU experts answer. Q: I was once told that pain is not a part of Parkinson’s disease. Is that true? A: Pain is a common symptom in people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and people with PD are more likely to have pain than those without PD. It is unclear what causes this increase of painful symptoms, however. There are several theories including loss of dopamine or other neurotransmitters (natural chemicals) in the brain, … Read More

Year in review: The most popular “On the Brain” posts of 2015

As we welcome in the new year, here’s a look back at the brain-related news you may have missed; a round-up of our most read blog posts of 2015: 1. Acupuncture and diet changes to treat neuropathic pain Peripheral Neuropathy is a common neurologic condition, which affects the peripheral nerves. The most common symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy are burning, tingling pain, which often feels like sharp electric sensation. More… 2. Dietary and lifestyle modifications for migraine … Read More

Acupuncture and diet changes to treat neuropathic pain

Peripheral Neuropathy is a common neurologic condition, which affects the peripheral nerves. The most common symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy are burning, tingling pain, which often feels like sharp electric sensation. Walking, especially on hard or cold surfaces can be very painful, often described as walking on ground glass or stepping on pebbles. When large nerve fibers are involved, patients are more likely to experience sensory loss and weakness in the feet and sometimes hands. … Read More

Dietary and lifestyle modifications for migraine prevention

Years ago, my headache mentor at Columbia, Dr. Green, compared a migraineur’s brain to a fancy sports car’s engine. He meant that the brain becomes sensitized to the slightest stimulation and like the engine of a fine sports car, it revs up with the slightest stimulation. In migraine the 0-60 mph equivalent is a phenomenon of brainstem activation followed by a wave of depolarization (depression of neuronal activity), which originates in the occipital lobes in … Read More

The Neurology Wellness clinic provides an integrated approach to pain

According to a recent Food and Drug Administration report, over 42% of Americans suffer chronic pain and over 10% of those are disabled due to pain. Undoubtedly our busy schedules with multiple stressors, sedentary lifestyles and poor health habits are contributing to this problem. Recent years have seen a surge in acupuncture research with strong evidence of its effectiveness for the treatment of chronic low-back pain, migraine and tension headache, carpal tunnel syndrome and most … Read More

Designing a migraine-free lifestyle — especially for women

One in five women in America suffer from migraine headaches. In the throes of a migraine attack, simple head movement intensifies the pain. Eating or exercising is out of the question. Sometimes a migraine sufferer can’t even get out of bed.  There are 28 million Americans who have these disabling headaches — three times as many women as men. Almost half of them don’t see a doctor, don’t know their headaches are migraine or are … Read More

What causes a migraine?

“I have a pounding headache!” We’ve all heard that lament – from a friend or family member, and very likely felt one ourselves. That throbbing, pounding head pain that makes it hard to think, much less do everything we need to do. According to surveys, more than 10 percent of the U.S. population suffers from migraine headaches. Women are more frequent sufferers than men, with up to 25 percent of women experiencing migraines, but less … Read More

All pain is in your brain

Where is your pain? The short answer is simple: in your brain. It may seem as if it’s in your broken finger, or the toe you just stubbed on the door, or in your aching tooth. But it’s not. Pain is a sensory experience, and resides in your brain. To consider why I say that, ask yourself: does an anesthetized patient feel pain during a surgical procedure?  The answer (assuming the patient is properly anesthetized … Read More

A broken heart and a broken leg — much the same to our brains

The recent shootings at the Clackamas Town Center mall and then at the elementary school in Newtown, Conn., made me think about emotional distress, and the ways in which it mirrors physical pain. When we talk about emotional suffering, it is almost impossible to avoid pain-related words. We say: “She hurt my feelings.” Or: “He broke her heart.” This is not just an idiosyncrasy of the English language; a similar pattern has been documented in … Read More

Neuropathic pain — the dysfunctional alarm

In a broad sense, pain is much more than a sensation. Pain can be a lifesaver. Pain can be pleasure. Pain can be the gate to heaven. Pain can be just an emotional suffering. When we talk about the physiologic meaning of pain, we can think of the pain system as the alarm system of the body. It is essential for the survival of the organism and complete loss of pain sensation is not compatible … Read More

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