1. I read your article with great interest. And great concern too. For me.

    First, I would like to know what is the difference between pain and ache? I know this may seem like a silly question. But as I read your article, I wondered about this. And wondered how to tell the difference between pain and ache?

    The reason I’m asking is also because I have a frozen right shoulder. This affects my right shoulder blade. And occasionally it hurts. But I’m not sure if it’s pain or ache.

    And because I’m not sure, I don’t know what to do. Do I get medicated plasters? Do I consult a doctor?

    Look forward to your kind help, please?

    • Hi Tim,
      Actually this is a very good question because people often get confused when speaking about the difference between pain and ache. In general terms ache refers to a discomfort in the body and pain refers to acute discomfort. The distinction is how long each lasts. Normally an ache once treated will take a long time to return while pain may take a much shorter time to return. For example, you have a headache ache and take an aspirin. The headache goes away and perhaps takes a long time before you get another headache. On the other hand, you fall and bang your head on the ground. The injury that you sustain causes more than discomfort. It causes acute discomfort—pain. Even after treatment, the pain may comeback quickly.

      Here is how this might connect to your frozen shoulder. In most cases it can take up to 2 years for the frozen shoulder to resolve its self. Some times during what’s called the “thawing period” fluctuations can happen between ache and pain. If you’re experiencing aching that goes away after treatment, it may mean your frozen shoulder is going away. However, if you are experiencing pain that isn’t going away even after conservative treatments–which are suggested first—than you should see a doctor for a consultation.

      First option—Conservative treatment.—acupuncture, heat treatment, physical therapy etc. If they don’t work then consult a doctor. I know that there are some products on the market that use heat to treat long term cases of Frozen shoulder. I’ll do some research and let you know.


      • Thank you so much, Thabo.

        I have learned so much from you. This reply is very helpful. I will follow your advice.

        I did try acupressure and heat treatment. And the pain is not that bad anymore. It is more like discomfort, and occasional ache when I overstretch my right arm.

        I will observe and monitor the situation.

        And thank you for offering to do research on more possible first option treatments. I look forward to your suggestions.

  2. I have been following your series and have learned so much about my posture and what I need to work on. I do have numbness in two of my fingers that I have been ignoring, it does not hurt just numb most of the time. Should I worry about this or just continue with trying to keep my posture in good form?

    • Hello Dena,

      I’m glad you reached out to me. Here is the deal. Most of the time finger numbness not accompanied by other symptoms can usually be reversed with rest. Some times we just do too many repetitive tasks and all we need is rest and some at-home remedies such as ice and heat. However, when the cause cannot be identified, numbness in the finger could be due to an underlying syndrome or disease and needs a medical evaluation.

      I don’t want you to panic, particularly if you haven’t been feeling pain. I would suggest, however, that you see the doctor just to get an idea of what’s going on. Numbness in the fingers has been linked to about 10 different health conditions raging from minor to the more serious. Make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Also, you should continue to keep your posture in good form as that is vital to over-all health and wellbeing.

  3. Peter

    I know some people who have tried medical marijuana and believe it has given them a second chance at having a quality life. For example, a family friend who had never tried medical marijuana says he now believes it’s taking the pain away. He used to take opiates and doesn’t any more. He says opiates just masked the pain. He insists that medical marijuana doesn’t mask the pain. It takes it away. Can you shed some light on this. I have always thought opiates masks pain. Isn’t that true with medical marijuana. Is my family friend just an unusual case? Look forward to your answer.

    • Hi Peter, thanks for the question. More pain sufferers are getting off opiates in favor of medical marijuana. In fact, in some states prescriptions for opiates have declined while requests for marijuana cards have gone up. Most said the marijuana provided relief equal to their other medications, but without the side effects. Some who have suffered debilitating pain as a result of car accidents believe that medical marijuana is the only thing that took away the pain. So, for them marijuana was a true solution and not just a way to mask pain. That said, marijuana can lead to more frequent bronchitis if smoked on a regular basis and should be monitored by a doctor.

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