PainScience.com • Good advice for aches, pains & injuries

What works for stubborn aches, pains, and injuries?

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

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  • Stylized sign showing a man stooping to lift a box, with red text superimposed on it reading “alarmist nonsense.”

    Don’t Worry About Lifting Technique

    The importance of “lift with your legs, not your back” to prevent back pain has been exaggerated!

  • Is vitamin D a pain killer?

    Walk down a busy street in Canada, Russia, or northern Europe & you’ll pass someone with vitamin D deficiency every few seconds. And they may be in pain, too.

  • Drawing of a knob representing pain intensity, dialed up to 11.

    Sore muscles?

    Muscle fever — such a wonderfully descriptive term — is that distinctive muscle pain that nearly everyone gets after intense exercise. How does it work & can anything help?

  • Anatomical diagram of the knee showing the location of IT band syndrome pain on the side of the knee.

    What kind of runner’s knee?

    IT band syndrome dominates the side of the knee. Patellofemoral pain is more variable, but usually more in front.

  • Drawing of a woman stretching her hands towards her toes in a seated position, with a painful expression on her face.

    You can’t stretch everything!

    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.

  • Photo of a main in pain, clutching his shoulder

    When shoulders freeze

    Frozen shoulder is one of the strangest of all musculoskeletal conditions, with ties to metabolic disorders & autoimmune disease.

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

Drawing of a knob representing pain intensity, dialed up to 11.

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.

Recent site updates

A steady stream of content improvements and corrections are all logged, like on Wikipedia:

You’ve got a lot of reading to do! Sorry it’s all here on the computer …

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