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?
My stretching article has been popular for more than a decade now & it’s one of the best examples of what this website is all about: thorough, sassy critical analysis & tipping over sacred cows with facts n stuff.
IT band syndrome dominates the side of the knee. Patellofemoral pain is more variable, but usually more in front.
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.
The newest featured treatment review on PainScience.com, a deep dive into the science of zapping yourself to treat pain.
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!
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).
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.
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.
- Aug 10: A new book about frozen shoulder
- Jul 14: Summer 2019 blog pause
- Jul 8: A genetic defect that exaggerates all sensations (including pain)
- Jun 26: Hundreds of old bibliography links fixed
- Jun 22: Two pet theories about inflammation
- + 778 more posts …
Recent site updates
A steady stream of content improvements and corrections are all logged, like on Wikipedia:
- Sep 11: posture +Science update, risks of poor posture — Added some badly needed substantiation of my story that awkward postures can sometimes directly trigger episodes of body pain.
Does Posture Correction Matter?
- Sep 10: frozen shoulder +Expanded, bogus treatments list — Added Reiki and magnet therapy, plus a bunch of other minor improvements.
Frozen Shoulder Guide
- Sep 10: frozen shoulder +Expanded, massage therapy chapter — Added discussion of general health benefits of massage therapy.
Frozen Shoulder Guide
- Sep 6: stretching +New section, stretching dosage — Some new content, and some old content transplanted from other sections. There’s certainly more to do on dosage, but I think it’s a solid summary so far.
Quite a Stretch
- Sep 6: low back pain +Rewritten again, sleep posture etc — This chapter was rewritten along with the chapter on causes of morning back pain, and is about double its previous size.
Save Yourself from Low Back Pain!
- + many more
You’ve got a lot of reading to do! Sorry it’s all here on the computer …
If you’ve found PainScience.com useful, say thanks with a donation.