Sensible advice for aches, pains & injuries

What works for stubborn aches, pains, and injuries?

And what doesn’t work, and why? reviews your treatment options and the nature of the beast: hundreds of self-help articles, plus several big tutorials about common musculoskeletal pain problems, routinely updated, and readable enough for anyone but heavily referenced for professionals. (There’s also a huge pain science bibliography.) I serve up the science of pain with some sass — I try to have fun taking this subject seriously. Paul Ingraham, publisher

What hurts? Common pain problems

The main painful topics on PainScience are stubborn pain problems like trigger points (poorly named, but incredibly common, and often confused with muscle strain), neck pain and low back pain (of course), and common overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis, shin splints and the two kinds of runner’s knee, one of which I’ve had in spades (IT band syndrome) and the one lots of non-runners get (patellofemoral pain). Plus many more topics (but those are the ones I’ve written books about).

And what works? Pain treatment

Review (and some debunking) of treatment methods is a major theme here. Get started with a big collection of pain survival tips, with links to dozens more articles about popular DIY treatments like self-massage, strength training, ice or heat, the amazingly controversial Epsom salts, and pain creams like Traumeel (arnica). I also review major therapy methods like massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture.

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

Yes, but why does it hurt?

Pain “demands an explanation,” wrote poet Ann Carson — but pain is quite weird and misleading. If you have chronic pain, it can be a huge help to understand things like why injuries sometimes heal slowly or how insomnia makes pain so much worse. On the other hand, there’s a lot you don’t need to worry about, like your back being out of alignment and bad posture, both highly over-rated causes of pain.

Pain science news and nuggets

As I update and upgrade my books and feature articles, I blog about whatever I’m working on: bite-sized news items, deep thoughts, quotes and comics, study results and weird science, interesting links, and so on.

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