Easing the pain: A KATU special report on pain management

Easing the pain: A KATU special report on pain management

On Monday, Nov. 2, KATU is devoting a segment of its newscasts to an issue many – if not all – of us deal with every day: pain.

In our KATU "On Your Side" coverage we bring you ways to ease some of that pain, from addressing foot issues, to fighting pain with food, to combating pain at work, to the pain symptoms that are too dangerous to ignore.

From the 6 a.m. KATU newscast: Addressing Foot Pain

Dave Harkin, with Portland Running Company, demonstrates some easy ways to identify where foot pain is coming from, and how to fix it. You'll learn about something called the "water test," gait, how to identify certain elements of pain, treating pain, selecting the right shoe for your arch, and what questions should you ask at the next visit to your doctor.

From the 4 p.m. KATU newscast: Food to Fight Pain

KATU Anchor/Reporter Brian Wood brings you the inside scoop on the five types of food reputed to help fight pain, plus one food said to reduce pain even without eating it.

From the 5 p.m. KATU newscast: Back Pain

KATU Anchor/Reporter Carl Click brings you the most common contributors to back pain and takes an inside look at ways to ease this most-common pain.

From the 6 p.m. KATU newscast: Pain at work

KATU's Clark Click weighs in again by shedding light on some of the common work complaints and the products that will help.

From the 11 p.m. KATU newscast: Symptoms too dangerous to ignore

KATU Special Projects Director Elena Buller works with KATU Anchor/Reporter Angelica Thornton to cover the critical pain symptoms, from chest pressure to fevers, that could signal something far worse.

1. Chest Pain
Might suggest an acute heart attack. Get to the ER as quickly as possible.

2. Abdominal Pain
Mild to moderate abdominal pain lasting for more than a week can indicate an ulcer, malignancy or gallstones.  It could also be types of inflammation known as colitis or diverticulitis.

3. Fever
Anytime someone has a fever over 101 degrees, particularly if it's associated with protracted vomiting, diarrhea or change in mental functioning, they should immediately seek attention.  A high fever combined with shortness of breath, mental changes or lower back pain could be signs of pneumonia, meningitis or a kidney infection, respectively.

4. Trouble Breathing
If you experience progressive shortness of breath with exertion or when you're lying down, that's reason to see a health care professional.  It may indicate an emergent heart condition or an inflammation of the lungs caused by pneumonia.

5. Headaches
Changes in headache pattern can indicate a malignancy or certain types of blood vessel abnormalities, which may lead to aneurysms. They may also be the side effect of a medication.

6. Mental Functioning
Changes in mental functioning, such as being sleepy or unresponsive, a patient should immediately seek attention.  If you have the sudden inability to speak, that might be a stroke.

7. Bleeding
Bleeding from the rectum could be an ulcer, hemorrhoid, inflammation of the intestinal tract or a type of cancer.  If you're seeing it intermittently, you ought to seek attention but it doesn't have to be today.  Patients who experience excessive bleeding should seek medical attention immediately.

8. Blacking Out
Something as simple as a faint could be caused by a significant irregularity of heart rhythm.  In most situations, it doesn't turn out to be the issue, but it does need to be evaluated.

9. Difficulty Swallowing
If you ever have difficulty swallowing or food gets stuck, it could be a narrowing of the esophagus, acid reflux or a malignancy.

10. Skin Changes
Any suspicious skin lesions or pigmentation needs to be seen.  As does any kind of lump anywhere in the body, particularly if it's never seen before.  Rashes should also be evaluated, because they might indicate an underlying condition like an infection, chicken pox, measles, shingles or lupus.