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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Pain Management

Pain can be considered the fifth vital sign. It is one way that the body communicates stress, injury or infection. Chronic pain that persists for weeks, months or even years can lead to other debilitating conditions such as insomnia and depression. To help patients achieve quality of life, pain management is an important health care goal.

Internet Resources

MedlinePlus: Pain
Developed by the National Library of Medicine specifically for health care consumers, this site is a portal for both government-sponsored and privately developed health information for the lay public. It features information about pain and how to manage it.

National Institute on Neurological Disease and Stroke Chronic Pain Information Page
This Web site offers basic information and links to clinical studies on chronic pain that are currently recruiting patients. It also includes contact information for support organizations and additional resources about chronic pain.

American Pain Association
This nonprofit organization serves people with pain through information, advocacy, and support. The group’s mission includes improving access and removing barriers to effective pain management, providing practical information and promoting research.

American Pain Association - Online Health Decision Making Guide
This online guide provides information on pain care and health decision making for people living with pain and their families. It includes a variety of articles, worksheets and tips to help navigate the health care system and identify and evaluate pain care options.


  • Get your lower back pain under control – and get on with life. Guarino, A.H. 2010.
  • Managing pain before it manages you, 3rd ed. Caudill, M. 2009.
  • Yoga for pain relief: simple practices to calm your mind & heal your chronic pain. McGonigal, K. 2009.
  • Why we hurt: a complete physical & spiritual guide to healing your chronic pain. Fors, G. 2007.
  • Pain. Toates F. 2007.
  • Decision making in pain management. Ramamurthy S. Ed. 2006.
  • Healing pain: the innovative, breakthrough plan to overcome your physical pain & emotional suffering. Berger A. 2006.

The following resources are available in print at the Alberto Culver Health Learning Center or electronically at http://www.nmh.org/nm/health+library+virtual+library

  • Encyclopedia of pain. Schmidt RF and Willis, WD, eds. 2007.
  • Gale encyclopedia of medicine. Longe, J.L. Ed. 2006.
  • Gale encyclopedia of surgery and medical tests. Narins, B. Ed. 2009.

Journal Articles

  • “Living with pain.” Time. 177(9): 72-9. March 2011.
  • “Pain ‘red flags’:recognizing the signs.” Mayo Clinic Health Letter. 28(10): 7. Oct. 2010.
  • “Chronic pain rehabilitation.” Mayo Clinic Health Letter. 28(5): 1-3. May 2010.


  • Pain management: the three R’s: a patient's guide to roles, rights, and... 11 min.
  • Back pain. 30 min.
  • Cancer pain can be relieved. 10 min.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the Alberto Culver Health Learning Center at 312-926-5465, or e-mail us at HLC@nmh.org.

Last UpdateNovember 2, 2012