The Right (and Wrong) Way to Treat Pain

Hint: It takes more than a prescription pad to really bring relief

CHRIS USHER FOR TIME

LISA DOBBS: An arthritis sufferer, she used Vioxx until it went off the market

Chronic pain is a thief. It breaks into your body and robs you blind. With lightning fingers, it can take away your livelihood, your marriage, your friends, your favorite pastimes and big chunks of your personality. Left unapprehended, it will steal your days and your nights until the world has collapsed into a cramped cell of suffering.

Penny Rickhoff's world began to shrink suddenly in 1990, after a very tall and very heavy file cabinet toppled over onto her back. The freak accident damaged her spinal cord, leaving her with a constant, gnawing pressure in her lower back. "If I...

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