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In the Spotlight

What Women Need to Know About Pain

Women Veterans Health Program

A young woman massaging her painful knee

Chronic pain, common among women Veterans, is a real problem and a big concern for those who suffer from it. Chronic pain may include headaches, back pain, arthritis, joint problems, fibromyalgia, and pelvic pain, among others.

Managing Your Pain

Chronic pain can affect many parts of life, and sometimes make getting through the day seem impossible. Many people with pain avoid activity because they fear their pain will worsen. In the case of chronic pain, too much rest can result in muscle loss, which then makes pain worse. On the flip side, too much activity can increase anxiety. Stress, lack of sleep, weight gain and a depressed mood can also increase pain.

Understand Your Pain

Understanding how pain interferes with your life can help you choose treatments that can reduce pain while improving function. These include things such as:

  • Medications
  • Injections
  • Surgery
  • Implantable nerve stimulators
  • Pain self-management programs
  • Physical therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic care
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation
  • Massage
  • Biofeedback

It's important to remember that not all treatments are available at every VA Medical Center, and specific treatments may not be appropriate for all conditions. Talk to your doctor using Secure Messaging to determine which approaches are best for you. If a given plan is not available at your medical center, ask your provider or your Women Veteran Program Manager if similar care may be accessed in your community.

Read More

Women's Health Checklist

Chronic Back Pain

Understanding Acute and Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain (Women Veterans Health Care)


Created August 7, 2018