And what doesn’t work, and why? PainScience.com reviews your treatment options for many common painful problems, and explains the nature of the pain beast with hundreds of articles and several huge self-help guides. The site is written mainly for patients, but it’s also heavily referenced for health care pros. And I serve up the science of pain and injury with a little sass — I try to have fun taking the subject seriously. Read more about PainScience.com.
Paul Ingraham, PainScience publisher
Supposedly fascia can get tight & needs to be “released,” but key examples of research either fail to support fascial therapy or even undermine it. Is it just a fad?
Controversy, stigma & quackery swirl around fibromyalgia like a bad smell. Here’s a rational guide to the mysterious disease of pain, exhaustion & mental fog.
Anatomy has limits. An owl can rotate its head as much as 270° & you can’t, because of differences between owl spines & people spines. There are biomechanical limits on all stretches … some more than others. This article describes 11 muscles you can’t stretch but wish you could.
Frozen shoulder is one of the strangest of all musculoskeletal conditions, with ties to metabolic disorders & autoimmune disease.
A compilation of more than 50 examples of the bizarre nonsense spoken by massage therapists with delusions of medical knowledge.
What hurts? Common painful problems and injuries
The main painful topics on PainScience are stubborn problems like trigger points (poorly named, but incredibly common, and often confused with muscle strain), low back pain (of course), common overuse injuries like iliotibial band syndrome, and stranger musculoskeletal glitches like frozen shoulder. Plus dozens more!
→ index of specific painful conditions
And what works? Pain treatments
Review of treatment methods (with plenty of debunking) is a major theme on PainScience.com: popular DIY options like self-massage, strength training, ice or heat, or the bizarrely controversial Epsom salts. I also review major therapy methods like massage or chiropractic, and gadgets like ultrasound and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).
→ index of treatment & therapy reviews
→ master list of self-help tips for pain
Yes, but why does it hurt? The nature of the beast
Pain “demands an explanation,” wrote poet Ann Carson, but pain is weird. It can be a huge help to understand things like the types of pain, or how insomnia makes pain so much worse, or the role of chronic low-grade inflammation. On the other hand, there are also many over-rated causes of pain like misalignment and poor posture.
→ index of articles about how pain works
The microblog: pain science news & nuggets
As I work on keeping >200 feature articles and tutorials up-to-date, I blog about the niftiest ideas I come across, plus major updates and site news.
- Apr 18: “Primary” versus “functional” pain
- Apr 15: Faster, better, stronger: redesigning for mobile
- Apr 1: From scratching an itch to picking a scab
- Mar 29: Tough love for amplified pain
- Mar 26: Don’t “push” for a diagnosis
- + 755 more posts …
Recent site updates
A steady stream of content improvements and corrections are all logged, like on Wikipedia:
- Mar 29: central sensitization +Added the term “amplified pain,” discussed and briefly reviewed the notorious Invisibilia episode about it, and added an explanation that exposure therapy can be conservative or aggressive.
Sensitization in Chronic Pain
- Mar 25: trigger points +Edited, differential diagnosis — A thorough editing, especially to the information about frozen shoulder, part of an ongoing effort to upgrade differential diagnosis information in the book.
Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain Syndrome
- Mar 24: strength training frequency +Added article abstract. And I also actually removed some content from the article: legacy stuff I simply felt was no longer necessary to make the point effectively. So it’s a bit shorter and sweeter now.
Strength Training Frequency
- Mar 24: repetitive strain injury +Added fascinating reference about the lack of turnover in tendon tissue (Heinemeier).
Repetitive Strain Injuries Tutorial
- Mar 24: plantar fasciitis +New chapter, Women and plantar fasciitis: the possible role of estrogen —
Save Yourself from Plantar Fasciitis!
- + many more
You’ve got a lot of reading to do! Sorry it’s all here on the computer …
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