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
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.
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.
Controversy, stigma & quackery swirl around fibromyalgia like a bad smell. Here’s a rational guide to the mysterious disease of pain, exhaustion & mental fog.
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.
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!
→ 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
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.
- May 20: A kooky “scientific” study of massage
- May 20: The metabolic roots of pain
- May 16: Another new “finally” article
- May 15: The PainScience.com origin story
- May 9: New article about massage and circulation
- + 765 more posts …
Recent site updates
A steady stream of content improvements and corrections are all logged, like on Wikipedia:
- May 21: tension headaches +New section: “Muscle ‘knots’: a major suspect in the case of cervicogenic headaches.”
Complete Guide to Tension Headaches
- May 21: neck pain +Science update, muscle pain chapter — Updated references related to the relationship between trigger points and headache.
Save Yourself from Neck Pain!
- May 21: frozen shoulder +New sub-topic — Fascinating new sub-topic: “Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration.”
Frozen Shoulder Guide
- May 21: Achilles tendinitis +Science update: added some fresh evidence about the efficacy of standard rehab methods (not bad, not great either).
Achilles Tendinitis Rehab Basics
- May 18: muscle strains +Major enhancement, strength training section — Added an extremely useful evidence-based strength training recommendation. This is as good as any update gets!
Save Yourself from Muscle Strain!
- + many more
You’ve got a lot of reading to do! Sorry it’s all here on the computer …
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