A – D

A – D


If you feel pain and stiffness in your body or have trouble moving around, you might have arthritis. Most kinds of arthritis cause pain and swelling in your joints.

Arthritis is an inflammation of a joint. The term is often used by the public to indicate any disease involving pain or stiffness of the musculoskeletal system. Arthritis is a joint disorder featuring inflammation. A joint is an area of the body where two different bones meet. A joint functions to move the body parts connected by its bones. Arthritis literally means inflammation of one or more joints.

Arthritis is frequently accompanied by joint pain. Joint pain is referred to as arthralgia.

There are many types of arthritis (over 100 identified, and the number is growing). The types of arthritis range from those related to wear and tear of cartilage (such as osteoarthritis) to those associated with inflammation resulting from an overactive immune system (such as rheumatoid arthritis). Together, the many types of arthritis make up the most common chronic illness in the United States.

  • Acute Arthritis: marked by pain, heat, redness, and swelling.
  • Acute Rheumatic: Arthritis swelling, tenderness, and redness of many joints of the body, accompanying rheumatic fever.
  • Hypertrophic Arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis marked by hypertrophy of the cartilage at the edge of the joints; osteoarthritis.
  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis in children under age 16, characterized by swelling, tenderness, and pain, involving one joint or several joints and lasting more than six weeks. It may lead to impaired growth and development, limitation of movement, and ankylosis and contractures of joints. At times it is accompanied by systemic manifestations such as spiking fever, transient rash on the trunk and limbs, hepatosplenomegaly, generalized lymphadenopathy, and anemia, in which case it is known as Still’s disease or systemic onset juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Lyme Arthritis: Lyme disease.
  • Psoriatic Arthritis: That associated with severe psoriasis, classically affecting the terminal interphalangeal joints.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: A chronic systemic disease characterized by inflammatory changes occurring throughout the body’s connective tissues. As such, it is classified as a collagen disease. This form of arthritis strikes during the most productive years of adulthood, with onset in the majority of cases between the ages of 20 and 40. No age is spared, however, and the disease may affect infants as well as the very old. The disease affects men and women about equally in number, but three times as many women as men develop symptoms severe enough to require medical attention.


Back Pain

Acute or Chronic Pain located in the posterior regions of the Thorax; LUMBOSACRAL REGION; or the adjacent regions. If you’ve ever groaned, “Oh, my aching back!”, you are not alone. Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. Acute back pain comes on suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Back pain is called chronic if it lasts for more than three months.

Pain felt in the low or upper back. Causes of pain in the low and upper back include conditions affecting the bony spine; discs between the vertebrae; ligaments around the spine and discs; spinal inflammation; spinal cord and nerves; muscles; internal organs of the pelvis, chest, and abdomen; tumors; and the skin.


Bulging Disc Syndrome

A bulging spinal disc occurs when the disc’s soft, jellylike center (nucleus) is squeezed into cracks in the disc’s outer covering, weakening and stretching that covering. As a disc bulges out from between the neighboring bones (vertebrae), it can press on nerves that travel to the legs or arms and can cause numbness, weakness, or pain.

Normally, spinal discs absorb shock and provide flexibility within the spine. With age, spinal discs break down. They become drier, less flexible, and more easily damaged. Injury and prolonged overuse or misuse can speed the formation of tiny tears in a disc’s capsule. People who smoke cigarettes are at increased risk of disc deterioration.

In most cases, symptoms of a bulging disc can be managed with nonsurgical treatment and will go away over time. In a few cases, surgery is needed.

Long-term problems

The cracks in the disc don’t repair themselves, but the pain usually fades over time. Often the body reabsorbs the material from the disc, which helps the pain go away. This process is called resorption. About half of the people with herniated discs in the low back recover within 1 month. And within 6 months, most recover.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a disorder caused by compression at the wrist of the median nerve supplying the hand, causing numbness and tingling. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway of ligament and bones at the base of your hand. It contains nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the nerve to be compressed. Symptoms usually start gradually. As they worsen, grasping objects can become difficult. Research has demonstrated that carpal tunnel syndrome is a very significant cause of missed work days due to pain. In 1995, about $270 million was spent on sick days taken for pain from repetitive motion injuries.

Often, the cause is having a smaller carpal tunnel than other people do. Other causes include performing assembly line work, wrist injury, or swelling due to certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Women are three times more likely to have carpal tunnel syndrome than men.

Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent permanent nerve damage. Your doctor diagnoses carpal tunnel syndrome with a physical exam and special nerve tests. Treatment includes resting your hand, splints, pain and anti-inflammatory medicines, and sometimes surgery.


Celiac Disease

A Malabsorption Syndrome that is precipitated by the ingestion of Foods containing Gluten, such as wheat, rye, and barley. It is characterized by Inflammation of the Small Intestine, loss of Microvilli structure, failed Intestinal Absorption, and Malnutrition.

Celiac disease affects each person differently. Symptoms may occur in the digestive system, or in other parts of the body. One person might have diarrhea and abdominal pain, while another person may be irritable or depressed. Irritability is one of the most common symptoms in children. Some people have no symptoms.

Celiac disease is genetic. Blood tests can help your doctor diagnose the disease. Your doctor may also need to examine a small piece of tissue from your small intestine. Treatment is a diet free of gluten.


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition that causes extreme tiredness. People with CFS have debilitating fatigue that lasts for six months or longer. They also have many other symptoms. Some of these are pain in the joints and muscles, headache, and sore throat. CFS does not have a known cause, but appears to result from a combination of factors.

Symptoms are not caused by ongoing exertion; are not relieved by Rest; and result in a substantial reduction of previous levels of occupational, educational, social, or personal activities. Minor alterations of immune, neuroendocrine, and autonomic function may be associated with this Syndrome. There is also considerable overlap between this condition and Fibromyalgia.


Chronic Pain

Pain is a feeling set off in the nervous system. Acute pain lets you know that you may be injured or have a problem you need to take care of. Chronic pain is different. The pain signals go on for weeks, months, or even years. The original cause may have been an injury or infection. There may be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis or cancer. But in some cases there is no clear cause.

A nursing diagnosis accepted by the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association, defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience arising from actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage, with sudden or slow onset of any intensity from mild to severe, without an anticipated or predictable end, and with a duration of greater than 6 months.

Problems that cause chronic pain include


Low back strain



Pain from nerve damage


Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease causes inflammation of the digestive system. It is one of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn’s can affect any area from the mouth to the anus. It often affects the lower part of the small intestine called the ileum.

The cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown. It may be due to an abnormal reaction by the body’s immune system. It also seems to run in some families. It most commonly starts between the ages of 13 and 30.

The most common symptoms are pain in the abdomen and diarrhea.

Other symptoms include:

Bleeding from the rectum

Weight loss


Your doctor will diagnose Crohn’s disease with a physical exam, lab tests, imaging tests, and a colonoscopy.

Crohn’s can cause complications, such as intestinal blockages, ulcers in the intestine, and problems getting enough nutrients. People with Crohn’s can also have joint pain and skin problems. Children with the disease may have growth problems.

There is no cure for Crohn’s. Treatment can help control symptoms, and may include medicines, nutrition supplements, and/or surgery. Some people have long periods of remission, when they are free of symptoms.


Degenerative Disc Disease

Degeneration of one or more intervertebral disc(s) of the spine, often called “degenerative disc disease” (DDD) or “degenerative disc disorder,” is a condition that can be painful and can greatly affect the quality of one’s life. Disc degeneration is a disease of aging, and though for most people is not a problem, in certain individuals a degenerated disc can cause severe chronic pain if left untreated.

With symptomatic degenerative disc disease, chronic low back pain sometimes radiates to the hips, or there is pain in the buttocks or thighs while walking; sporadic tingling or weakness through the knees, hands, and fingers may also be evident. Similar pain may be felt or may increase while sitting, bending, lifting, and twisting. Chronic neck pain can also come from the cervical spine, with pain radiating to the head, shoulders, arms and hands. [Cervical Arterial Disease] or CAD may cause interrupted blood supply to the brain resulting in headaches, vertigo, and the diminution of cognitive abilities and memory.


Disc Herniation

Extension of disc material beyond the posterior annulus fibrosus and posterior longitudinal ligament and into the spinal canal. The spine is made up of a series of connected bones called “vertebrae.” The disc is a combination of strong connective tissues which hold one vertebra to the next and acts as a cushion between the vertebrae. The disc is made of a tough outer layer called the “annulus fibrosus” and a gel-like center called the “nucleus pulposus.” As you get older, the center of the disc may start to lose water content, making the disc less effective as a cushion. This may cause a displacement of the disc’s center (called a herniated or ruptured disc) through a crack in the outer layer. Most disc herniations occur in the bottom two discs of the lumbar spine, at and just below the waist.

A herniated lumbar disc can press on the nerves in the spine and may cause pain, numbness, tingling or weakness of the leg called “sciatica.” Sciatica affects about 1-2% of all people, usually between the ages of 30 and 50.

F – H

F – H

Face Pain

Pain in the facial region including orofacial Pain and craniofacial Pain. Associated conditions include local inflammatory and neoplastic disorders and neuralgic Syndromes involving the trigeminal, facial, and Glossopharyngeal Nerves. Conditions which feature recurrent or persistent facial Pain as the primary manifestation of Disease are referred to as Facial Pain Syndromes.



Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes muscle pain and fatigue. People with fibromyalgia have “tender points” on the body. Tender points are specific places on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs. These points hurt when pressure is put on them.

People with fibromyalgia may also have other symptoms, such as:

Trouble sleeping

Morning stiffness


Painful menstrual periods

Tingling or numbness in hands and feet

Problems with thinking and memory (sometimes called “fibro fog”)

No one knows what causes fibromyalgia. Anyone can get it, but it is most common in middle-aged women. People with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases are particularly likely to develop fibromyalgia. There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but medicine can help you manage your symptoms. Getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating well may also help.

According to the American College of Rheumatology diagnosis criteria, fibromyalgia affects about 3-5% of women, most of whom are between ages 20 and 50, but only 0.5- 1.6% of men. Some experts feel the actual rate is much higher. Fibromyalgia is more prevalent in adults than children, with nine times more women affected than men. People with fibromyalgia are most likely to complain of three primary symptoms: muscle and joint pain, stiffness, and fatigue.


Foot Pain

Many things can cause foot pain. You may feel it in your toes, arch, sole, or heel of your foot. Foot pain may be due to:

Being on your feet for long periods of time

Being overweight

Wearing shoes that fit poorly or do not have much cushioning

Having flat feet (fallen arches)

Walking or doing other sports activities too much

Getting an injury, such as a broken bone, sprain, or stress fracture

Having plantar warts

Having foot problems such as bunions, calluses and corns, or hammer toes

Having conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, nerve problems, circulation problems, or gout that may cause problems with the feet



There are three types of primary headaches: tension-type (muscular contraction headache), migraine (vascular headaches), and cluster. Virtually everyone experiences a tension-type headache at some point. An estimated 18% of American women suffer migraines, compared to 6% of men. Cluster headaches affect fewer than 0.5% of the population, and men account for approximately 80% of all cases. Headaches caused by illness are secondary headaches and are not included in these numbers.

Approximately 40-45 million people in the United States suffer chronic headaches. Headaches have an enormous impact on society due to missed workdays and productivity losses.


Hip Osteoarthritis

Noninflammatory degenerative Disease of the Hip Joint which usually appears in late middle or old age. It is characterized by Growth or maturational disturbances in the Femoral Neck and head, as well as acetabular dysplasia. A dominant symptom is Pain on Weight-Bearing or Motion.


Hip Pain

Hip pain involves any pain in or around the hip joint. You may not feel pain from your hip directly over the hip area. You may feel it in your groin or pain in your thigh or knee.

Hip pain may be caused by problems in the bones or cartilage of your hip

Hip fractures can cause of sudden hip pain. These injuries can be a serious and lead to major problems. Hip fractures are more common as people get older because falls are more likely and your bones become weaker.

Infection in the bones or joints

Osteonecrosis of the hip

Arthritis — often felt in the front part of your thigh or in your groin

Labral tear of the hip

Pain in or around the hip may also be caused by problems:

Bursitis — it hurts when you get up from a chair, walk, climb stairs, and drive


Iliotibial band syndrome

Hip flexor strain

Hip impingement syndrome

Groin strain

Snapping hip syndrome

Pain you feel in the hip may reflect a problem in your back, rather than your hip itself.

J – K

J – K

Joint Pain

Joint pain can affect one or more joints. Joint pain can be caused by many types of injuries or conditions. It may be linked to arthritis, bursitis, and muscle pain. No matter what causes it, joint pain can be very bothersome. Some things that can cause joint pain are:

Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus


Chondromalacia patellae

Crystals in the joint: gout (especially found in the big toe) and CPPD arthritis (pseudogout)

Infections caused by a virus

Injury, such as a fracture


Osteomyelitis (bone infection)

Septic arthritis (joint infection)


Unusual exertion or overuse, including strains or sprains

Knee Pain

Knee pain is a common symptom in people of all ages. It may start suddenly, often after an injury or exercise. Knee pain may also began as a mild discomfort, then slowly worsen.

Knee pain can be caused by:

Anterior knee pain

Arthritis: including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and gout

Baker’s cyst: a fluid-filled swelling behind the knee that may occur with swelling (inflammation) from other causes, like arthritis

Bursitis: inflammation from repeated pressure on the knee, such as kneeling for long periods of time, overuse, or injury

Connective tissue disorders such as lupus

Dislocation of the kneecap: Iliotibial band syndrome, a hip disorder from injury to the thick band that runs from your hip to the outside of your knee.

Infection in the joint

Knee injuries: an anterior cruciate ligament injury or medial collateral ligament injury may cause bleeding into your knee, which makes the pain worse

Tendinitis: a pain in the front of your knee that gets worse when going up and down stairs or inclines

Torn cartilage (a meniscus tear): pain felt on the inside or outside of the knee joint

Torn ligament (ACL tear): leads to pain and instability of the knee

Strain or sprain: minor injuries to the ligaments caused by sudden or unnatural twisting

Less common conditions that can lead to knee pain include bone tumors.


L – M

L – M

Leg Pain

Leg pain is a common problem. It can be due to a cramp, injury, or other cause.


Leg pain can be due to a muscle cramp (also called a charley horse). Common causes of cramps include:

Dehydration or low amounts of potassium, sodium, calcium, or magnesium in the blood

Medicines (such as diuretics and statins)

Muscle fatigue or strain from overuse, too much exercise, or holding a muscle in the same position for a long time

An injury can also cause leg pain from:

A torn or overstretched muscle (strain)

Hairline crack in the bone (stress fracture)

Inflamed tendon (tendinitis)

Shin splints (pain in the front of the leg from overuse)

Other common causes of leg pain include:

Atherosclerosis that blocks blood flow in the arteries (this type of pain, called claudication, is generally felt when exercising or walking and is relieved by rest)

Blood clot (deep vein thrombosis) from long-term bed rest

Infection of the bone (osteomyelitis) or skin and soft tissue (cellulitis)

Inflammation of the leg joints caused by arthritis or gout

Nerve damage common in people with diabetes, smokers, and alcoholics

Varicose veins

Less common causes include:

Cancerous bone tumors: (osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma)

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease: poor blood flow to the hip that may stop or slow the normal growth of the leg

Noncancerous: (benign) tumors or cysts of the femur or tibia (osteoid osteoma)

Sciatic nerve pain: (radiating pain down the leg) caused by a slipped disk in the back

Slipped capital femoral epiphysis: usually seen in boys and overweight children between ages 11 and 15


Low Back Pain

Low back pain is a common musculoskeletal symptom that may be either acute or chronic. It may be caused by a variety of diseases and disorders that affect the lumbar spine. Low back pain is often accompanied by sciatica, which is pain that involves the sciatic nerve and is felt in the lower back, the buttocks, and the backs of the thighs.


Low back pain is a symptom that affects 80% of the general United States population at some point in life with sufficient severity to cause absence from work. It is the second most common reason for visits to primary care doctors.

Low back pain may be experienced in several different ways:

  • Localized: In localized pain the patient will feel soreness or discomfort when the doctor palpates, or presses on, a specific surface area of the lower back.
  • Diffuse: Diffuse pain is spread over a larger area and comes from deep tissue layers.
  • Radicular: The pain is caused by irritation of a nerve root. Sciatica is an example of radicular pain.
  • Referred: The pain is perceived in the lower back but is caused by inflammation elsewhere—often in the kidneys or lower abdomen.

Causes and symptoms

Acute pain in the lower back that does not extend to the leg is most commonly caused by a sprain or muscle tear, usually occurring within 24 hours of heavy lifting or overuse of the back muscles. The pain is usually localized, and there may be muscle spasms or soreness when the doctor touches the area. The patient usually feels better when resting.

Chronic low back pain has several different possible causes:

Mechanical: Chronic strain on the muscles of the lower back may be caused by obesity; pregnancy; or job-related stooping, bending, or other stressful postures.

Malignancy: Low back pain at night that is not relieved by lying down may be caused by a tumor in the cauda equina (the roots of the spinal nerves controlling sensation in and movement of the legs), or a cancer that has spread to the spine from the prostate, breasts, or lungs. The risk factors for the spread of cancer to the lower back include a history of smoking, sudden weight loss, and age over 50.

Ankylosing Spondylitis: Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis that causes chronic pain in the lower back. The pain is made worse by sitting or lying down and improves when the patient gets up. It is most commonly seen in males between 16 and 35. Ankylosing spondylitis is often confused with mechanical back pain in its early stages.

Herniated Spinal Disk: Disk herniation is a disorder in which a spinal disk begins to bulge outward between the vertebrae. Herniated or ruptured disks are a common cause of chronic low back pain in adults.

Psychogenic: Back pain that is out of proportion to a minor injury, or that is unusually prolonged, may be associated with a somatoform disorder or other psychiatric disturbance.

Low back pain with leg involvement

Low back pain that radiates down the leg usually indicates involvement of the sciatic nerve. The nerve can be pinched or irritated by herniated disks, tumors of the cauda equina, abscesses in the space between the spinal cord and its covering, spinal stenosis, and compression fractures. Some patients experience numbness or weakness of the legs as well as pain.

N – O

N – O

Neck Pain

Neck pain (or cervicalgia) is a common problem, with two-thirds of the population having neck pain at some point in their lives.

Neck pain, although felt in the neck, can be caused by numerous other spinal problems. Neck pain may arise due to muscular tightness in both the neck and upper back, or pinching of the nerves emanating from the cervical vertebrae. Joint disruption in the neck creates pain, as does joint disruption in the upper back. The following is a list of only some of the conditions that may cause neck pain:

Radiculopathy: A pinched nerve, often from a herniated, or slipped, disk. This causes pain down the arm that’s often described as an electrical feeling.

Myofascial Pain: Generally an aching pain in muscles that tends to be associated with poor posture, sitting at a computer or other job-related tasks. Patients can become sore in different parts of the body like the neck and arms, and often patients report they have difficulty sleeping or feeling restored from sleep.

Spinal Stenosis: A narrowing of the nerve openings either around the spinal cord or nerve roots that can cause symptoms similar to a pinched nerve. The pain is described either as an aching or an electrical feeling down the arm.

Tendon, Ligament and Soft Tissue Pain: Localized pain when an area is stretched or its muscles are overused. This results in tenderness.

Spinal Instability: Increased motion between vertebra, usually resulting from an injury. The pain typically feels like tingling in the neck or arms.

Non-Spinal Causes of Neck Pain: Pain imitating a neck injury, but from another cause. Shoulder and elbow injuries and gall bladder disease are examples of problems that can refer pain to the neck area.

Repetitive Strain Injury: An injury that occurs from a chronically used part of the body, either in a normal or abnormal way. These problems are often found in people who sit at desks or work at computers.


Nervous System Disease

Neurologic Diseases also called: Nervous system diseases

The brain, spinal cord, and nerves make up the nervous system. Together they control all the workings of the body. When something goes wrong with a part of your nervous system, you can have trouble moving, speaking, swallowing, breathing, or learning. You can also have problems with your memory, senses, or mood.

There are more than 600 neurologic diseases. Major types include:

  • Diseases caused by faulty genes, such as Huntington’s disease and muscular dystrophy
  • Problems with the way the nervous system develops, such as spina bifida
  • Degenerative diseases, where nerve cells are damaged or die, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Diseases of the blood vessels that supply the brain, such as stroke
  • Injuries to the spinal cord and brain
  • Seizure disorders, such as epilepsy
  • Cancer, such as brain tumors
  • Infections, such as meningitis.


Neuropathic Pain

Intense or aching Pain that occurs along the course or distribution of a peripheral or Cranial Nerve. Neuropathic Pain is a complex, chronic pain state that usually is accompanied by tissue injury. With neuropathic pain, the nerve fibers themselves might be damaged, dysfunctional, or injured. These damaged nerve fibers send incorrect signals to other pain centers. The impact of a nerve fiber injury includes a change in nerve function both at the site of injury and areas around the injury.

Neuropathic pain – otherwise known as nerve pain – is a type of chronic pain that occurs when nerves in the central nervous system become injured or damaged. If you or someone you care about has nerve pain, you know that it can erode quality of life.


Occipital Neuralgia

Occipital Neuralgia is a distinct type of headache characterized by piercing, throbbing, or electric-shock-like chronic pain in the upper neck, back of the head, and behind the ears, usually on one side of the head. Typically, the pain of occipital neuralgia begins in the neck and then spreads upwards. Some individuals will also experience pain in the scalp, forehead, and behind the eyes. Their scalp may also be tender to the touch, and their eyes especially sensitive to light.



Osteoarthritis (OA) also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis, is a group of mechanical abnormalities involving degradation of joints, including articular cartilage and subchondral bone. Symptoms may include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, locking, and sometimes an effusion. A variety of causes: hereditary, developmental, metabolic, and mechanical deficits: may initiate processes leading to loss of cartilage. When bone surfaces become less well protected by cartilage, bone may be exposed and damaged. As a result of decreased movement secondary to pain, regional muscles may atrophy, and ligaments may become more lax.

Risk factors for osteoarthritis include:

Being overweight

Getting older

Injuring a joint

No single test can diagnose osteoarthritis. Most doctors use several methods, including medical history, a physical exam, x-rays, or lab tests.

Treatments include exercise, medicines, and sometimes surgery.



Osteoporosis makes your bones weak and more likely to break. Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but it is common in older women. As many as half of all women and a quarter of men older than 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

Risk factors include:

Getting older

Being small and thin

Having a family history of osteoporosis

Taking certain medicines

Being a white or Asian woman

Having osteopenia, which is low bone density

Osteoporosis is a silent disease. You might not know you have it until you break a bone. A bone mineral density test is the best way to check your bone health. To keep bones strong, eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, exercise and do not smoke. If needed, medicines can also help.

P – S

P – S

Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis syndrome is a controversial condition that, depending on the analysis, varies from a “very rare” cause to contributing to up to 8% of low back or buttock pain.[7] In 15% of the population, the sciatic nerve runs through, or under the piriformis muscle rather than beneath it. When the muscle shortens or spasms due to trauma or overuse, it’s posited that this causes compression of the sciatic nerve.[7] It has colloquially been referred to as “wallet sciatica” since a wallet carried in a rear hip pocket will compress the muscles of the buttocks and sciatic nerve when the bearer sits down. Piriformis syndrome may be a cause of sciatica when the nerve root is normal.[8][9]


Post Herpetic Neuralgia

Postherpetic Neuralgia (Shingles) is a painful condition affecting your nerve fibers and skin. Postherpetic neuralgia is a complication of shingles, a second outbreak of the varicella-zoster virus, which initially causes chickenpox. During an initial infection of chickenpox, some of the virus remains in your body, lying dormant inside nerve cells. Years later, the virus may reactivate, causing shingles.



Sciatica may also occur during pregnancy as a result of the weight of the fetus pressing on the sciatic nerve during sitting or during leg spasms. While most cases do not directly harm the fetus or the mother, indirect harm may come from the numbing effect on the legs which can cause loss of balance and falling. There is no standard treatment for pregnancy induced sciatica.

Sciatica can also be caused by tumours impinging on the spinal cord or the nerve roots.[5] Severe back pain extending to the hips and feet, loss of bladder or bowel control, or muscle weakness may result from spinal tumours or cauda equina syndrome. Trauma to the spine, such as from a car accident, may also lead to sciatical.


Sacroiliac Joint Pain

The sacroiliac joint (SIJ) is a term used to describe the place where the sacrum and the iliac bones join.

The sacrum is located at the base of your spine. It is made up of 5 vertebrae, or backbones, that are fused together.

The iliac bones are the two large bones that make up your pelvis. The sacrum sits in the middle of the iliac bones.

The main purpose of the joint is to connect the spine and the pelvis. As a result, there is very little movement at the SIJ.

Major reasons for pain around the SIJ include:

Muscle tightness

Pregnancy: the pelvis widens to prepare for birth, stretching the ligaments. These are strong, flexible tissue that connects bone to bone

Different types of arthritis

Difference in leg lengths

Wearing away of the cartilage (cushion) between the bones

Trauma from impact, such as landing hard on buttocks

History of pelvic fractures or injuries

Although, SIJ pain can be caused by trauma, this type of injury more often develops over a long period.

Symptoms of SIJ dysfunction include:

Pain in the lower back, usually only on one side

Hip pain

Discomfort with bending over or standing after sitting for long periods

Improvement in pain when lying down

Your doctor may move your legs and hips around in different positions to help diagnose a SIJ dysfunction. You may also need to have x-rays or a CT scan.



A condition characterized by Pain radiating from the back into the buttock and posterior/lateral aspects of the leg. Sciatica may be a manifestation of Sciatic Neuropathy; Radiculopathy (involving the Spinal Nerve Roots; L4, L5, S1, or S2, often associated with Intervertebral Disk Displacement); or lesions of the Cauda Equina.


Spinal disc herniation

Spinal disc herniation pressing on one of the lumbar or sacral nerve roots is the primary cause of sciatica, being present in about 90% of cases.[5]

Sciatica caused by pressure from a disc herniation and swelling of surrounding tissue can spontaneously subside if the tear in the disc heals and the pulposus extrusion and inflammation cease.

Spinal stenosis

Other compressive spinal causes include lumbar spinal stenosis, a condition in which the spinal canal (the spaces through which the spinal cord runs) narrows and compresses the spinal cord, cauda equina, or sciatic nerve roots. This narrowing can be caused by bone spurs, spondylolisthesis, inflammation, or herniated disc, which decreases available space for the spinal cord, thus pinching and irritating nerves from the spinal cord that travel to the sciatic nerves.



Postherpetic Neuralgia (Shingles) is a painful condition affecting your nerve fibers and skin. Postherpetic neuralgia is a complication of shingles, a second outbreak of the varicella-zoster virus, which initially causes chickenpox. During an initial infection of chickenpox, some of the virus remains in your body, lying dormant inside nerve cells. Years later, the virus may reactivate, causing shingles.

You can’t catch shingles from someone who has it. However, if you have a shingles rash, you can pass the virus to someone who has never had chickenpox. This would usually be a child, who could get chickenpox instead of shingles. The virus spreads through direct contact with the rash, and cannot spread through the air.

Early signs of shingles include burning or shooting pain and tingling or itching, usually on one side of the body or face. The pain can be mild to severe. Rashes or blisters appear anywhere from one to 14 days later. If shingles appears on your face, it may affect your vision or hearing. The pain of shingles may last for weeks, months, or even years after the blisters have healed.

There is no cure for shingles. Early treatment with medicines that fight the virus may help. These medicines may also help prevent lingering pain.


Shoulder Pain

Unilateral or bilateral Pain of the shoulder. It is often caused by Physical Activities such as Work or Sports participation, but may also be pathologic in origin.

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the human body. A group of four tendons in the shoulder, called the rotator cuff, give the shoulder a wide range of motion.

Swelling, damage, or bone changes around the rotator cuff can cause shoulder pain. You may have pain when lifting the arm above your head or moving it forward or behind your back.

The most common cause of shoulder pain occurs when rotator cuff tendons become trapped under the bony area in the shoulder. The tendons become inflamed or damaged. This condition is called rotator cuff tendinitis.

Shoulder pain may also be caused by:

Arthritis in the shoulder joint

Bone spurs in the shoulder area

Bursitis, inflammation of a fluid-filled sac (bursa) that normally protects the joint and helps it move smoothly

Broken shoulder bone

Dislocation of the shoulder

Shoulder separation

Frozen shoulder, which occurs when the muscles, tendons, and ligaments inside the shoulder become stiff, making movement difficult and painful

Overuse or injury of nearby tendons, such as the bicep muscles of the arms

Tears of the rotator cuff tendons

Sometimes, shoulder pain may be due to a problem in another area of the body, such as the neck or lungs. This is called “referred pain.” There is usually no pain when moving the shoulder.

T – Z

T – Z

Tension Headaches

A common Primary Headache Disorder, characterized by a dull, non-pulsatile, diffuse, band-like (or vice-like) Pain of mild to moderate intensity in the HEAD; Scalp; or NECK. The subtypes are classified by frequency and severity of symptoms. There is no clear cause even though it has been associated with Muscle Contraction and stress. (International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd ed. Cephalalgia 2004: suppl 1)

This most common type of headache is caused by severe muscle contractions triggered by stress or exertion. The American Council for Headache Education (ACHE) estimates that 95% of women and 90% of men in the United States and Canada have had at least one headache in the past twelve months. Tension headaches are considered a type of primary headache, which means that they are not caused by another medical condition or disorder.

Other names for tension headaches include muscle contraction headache, ordinary headache, psycho-myogenic headache, and stress headache.

Causes and symptoms

  • Tension headaches are caused by tightening in the muscles of the face, neck and scalp because of stress or poor posture. They can last for days or weeks and can cause pain of varying intensity. The tightening muscles cause more expansion and constriction of blood vessels, which can make head pain worse. Eyestrain caused by dealing with a large amount of paperwork or reading can cause a tension headache as well.

Many people report tension headache pain as a kind of steady ache (as opposed to a throb) that forms a tight band around the forehead, affecting both sides of the head. Tension headaches usually occur in the front of the head, although they also may appear at the top or the back of the skull.

Tension headaches often begin in late afternoon and can last for several hours; they can occur every day and last throughout most of the day but most (82%) go away within a few hours. A tension headache that occurs on 15 or more days per month over a period of six months or longer is called a chronic tension headache. Unlike migraines, tension headaches don’t cause nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light, or any kind of aura before the headache begins.

  • Torn Meniscus

A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries. Any activity that causes you to forcefully twist or rotate your knee, especially when putting the pressure of your full weight on it, can lead to a torn meniscus.

Each of your knees has two menisci — C-shaped pieces of cartilage that act like a cushion between your shinbone and your thighbone. A torn meniscus causes pain, swelling and stiffness. You also might have trouble extending your knee fully.

Conservative treatment — such as rest, ice and medication — is sometimes enough to relieve the pain of a torn meniscus and give the injury time to heal on its own. In other cases, however, a torn meniscus requires surgical repair.

When to see a doctor

Contact your doctor if your knee is painful or swollen, or if you can’t move your knee in the usual ways.

A torn meniscus can result from any activity that causes you to forcefully twist or rotate your knee, such as aggressive pivoting or sudden stops and turns. Even kneeling, deep squatting or lifting something heavy can sometimes lead to a torn meniscus. In older adults, degenerative changes of the knee may contribute to a torn meniscus.

Anyone performing activities involving aggressive twisting and pivoting of the knee is at risk of a torn meniscus. The risk is particularly high for athletes — especially those who participate in contact sports, such as football, or activities that involve pivoting, such as tennis or basketball. The risk of a torn meniscus also increases as you get older, due to years of wear and tear on your knees.

A torn meniscus can lead to knee instability, inability to move your knee normally or persistent knee pain. You also may be more likely to develop osteoarthritis in the injured knee.

Often, a torn meniscus can be identified during a physical exam. Your doctor may manipulate your knee and leg bones into different positions to help pinpoint the cause of your signs and symptoms.


Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a disease that causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the rectum and colon. It is one of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease.

UC can happen at any age, but it usually starts between the ages of 15 and 30. It tends to run in families. The most common symptoms are pain in the abdomen and blood or pus in diarrhea.

Other symptoms may include:


Severe tiredness

Weight loss

Loss of appetite

Bleeding from the rectum

Sores on the skin

Joint pain

Growth failure in children

About half of people with UC have mild symptoms.

Doctors use blood tests, stool tests, colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, and imaging tests to diagnose UC. Several types of drugs can help control it. Some people have long periods of remission, when they are free of symptoms. In severe cases, doctors must remove the colon.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases



Whiplash is a sudden, moderate-to-severe strain affecting the bones, discs, muscles, nerves, or tendons of the neck.


The neck is composed of seven small bones. Known as the cervical spine, these bones:

support the head

help maintain an unobstructed enclosure for the spinal cord

influence the shape and structure of the spine

affect posture and balance

About 1,000,000 whiplash injuries occur in the United States every year. Most are the result of motor vehicle accidents or collisions involving contact sports. When unexpected force jerks the head back, then forward the bones of the neck snap out of position and irritated nerves can interfere with flow of blood and transmission of nerve impulses. Pinched nerves can damage or destroy the function of body parts whose actions they govern.

Risk factors

Osteoarthritis of the spine increases the risk of whiplash injury. So do poor driving habits, driving in bad weather, or driving when tired, tense, or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

Causes and symptoms

Tension shortens and tightens muscles. Fatigue relaxes them. Either condition increases the likelihood that whiplash will occur and the probability that the injury will be severe.

Sometimes symptoms of whiplash appear right away. Sometimes they do not develop until hours, days, or weeks after the injury occurs. Symptoms of whiplash include:

Pain or stiffness in the neck, jaw, shoulders, or arms



Loss of feeling in an arm or hand

Nausea and vomiting

Depression and vision problems are rare symptoms of this condition.