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
A compilation of more than 50 examples of the bizarre nonsense spoken by massage therapists with delusions of medical knowledge.
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?
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 cause of sore spots in muscles is mysterious & controversial. Are muscle “knots” basically micro-cramps? Delve into the science.
The newest featured treatment review on PainScience.com, a deep dive into the science of zapping yourself to treat pain.
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
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.
- Jun 11: Just the right amount of hyperbole
- Jun 5: Strengthening-while-lengthening is a “proven” rehab method for muscle strain
- Jun 4: Reality versus best practices in musculoskeletal medicine
- May 27: Injection infection? Another surprising way to freeze a shoulder
- May 24: Apostasy fallout
- + 771 more posts …
Recent site updates
A steady stream of content improvements and corrections are all logged, like on Wikipedia:
- Jun 14: unwanted muscle contractions +Added a little more detail about cramps.
Cramps, Spasms, Tremors & Twitches
- Jun 13: causes of pain +Added section about social isolation and loneliness, the first of a series that I will be adding about non-specific vulnerabilities to illness and chronic pain.
25 Surprising Causes of Pain
- Jun 7: tension headaches +Rewritten, definition of tension headache — Completely revised the introduction to the definition of a tension headache. I now discuss the two main interpretations of this very vague term. Another major goal was to change the scope of the article, so that it will include cervicogenic headache in the future. While it will never be a guide to all kinds of headache, it’s clear that “tension headache” alone was too limiting. What I’m really interested in is helping readers troubleshoot any non-migraine, non-ominous headache… which covers a lot more ground than just “tension” headaches.
Complete Guide to Headaches
- Jun 6: injury complicated by muscle pain +Thoroughly edited and modernized.
Muscle Pain as an Injury Complication
- Jun 6: central sensitization +Added brief but important coverage of stress-induced visceral sensitization.
Sensitization in Chronic Pain
- + many more
You’ve got a lot of reading to do! Sorry it’s all here on the computer …
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