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 particularly 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, injury, and rehab with a little sass — I try to have fun taking the subject seriously. Read more about PainScience.com.
~ Paul Ingraham, PainScience publisher
Controversy, stigma & quackery swirl around fibromyalgia like a bad smell. Here’s a rational guide to the mysterious disease of pain, exhaustion & mental fog.
Placebo is fascinating, but its “power” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. There is, however, an awful lot of ideologically motivated hype about placebo!
The cause of sore spots in muscles is mysterious & controversial. Are muscle “knots” basically micro-cramps? Delve into the science.
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.
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
I never stop updating and improving PainScience.com articles and books, hundreds of them, but also blog as I work. The blog is basically the “highlights” section of the site: mostly short posts about the niftiest ideas I’ve come across.
- Jul 8: Examine Personalized: Monthly nutrition research summaries
- Jul 3: Schnell, schnell! Speed boosts for PainScience.com
- Jun 23: A pill that trashes tendons
- Jun 18: Skepticism about skeptics from a skeptic
- May 6: Study finds jack shit (which is to be expected)
- + 839 more posts …
Recent site updates
A steady stream of content improvements and corrections are all logged, like on Wikipedia:
- Jul 9: vitamin D deficiency and pain +Added a statement about vitamin D and COVID-19.
Vitamin D for Pain
- Jul 9: repetitive strain injury +Extensive editing and modernization. Many minor improvements adding up to a large overall improvement.
Repetitive Strain Injuries Tutorial
- Jul 6: patellofemoral syndrome +Minor addition, load management — Added “sex” to the list of activities that can involve potentially harmful knee stresses, depending on the position and, er, endurance.
Save Yourself from Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome!
- Jul 3: soreness and malaise caused by massage +New section and sub-topic, “PMSM: What about people who feel lousy after a gentle massage treatment?” Polished and updated the article summary. Added a short section about the evidence and the plausibility of the rhabdomyolysis hypothesis.
Poisoned by Massage
- Jul 1: update to multiple pages +Another round of page speed work: now getting absolutely top marks in various speed testing tools for most pages. Images and YouTube now load “lazily” so readers don’t have to download every picture on every page they visit — just the ones they scroll down to. (Related: YouTube videos have been stopped from using trackers. I’m also getting ready to finally ditch Google Analytics for the same reason.) The scripting that powers popups was simplified down to almost nothing. Some huuuuge lists of updates have been moved to archives for that purpose rather than bloating the pages they’re on. Fixed a bug that was preventing a couple groups of pages from being served by CloudFlare.
- + many more
You’ve got a lot of reading to do! Sorry it’s all here on the computer …
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