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
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?
A compilation of more than 50 examples of the bizarre nonsense spoken by massage therapists with delusions of medical knowledge.
Controversy, stigma & quackery swirl around fibromyalgia like a bad smell. Here’s a rational guide to the mysterious disease of pain, exhaustion & mental fog.
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.
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.
The newest featured treatment review on PainScience.com, a deep dive into the science of zapping yourself to treat pain.
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.
- Aug 3: Chronic pain mainly on or near joints
- Aug 3: How tongues stick out
- Jul 23: Fast, cheap COVID testing
- Jul 23: The myth of feminine fragility
- Jul 23: Few humans ever get to experience anything like this
- + 846 more posts …
Recent site updates
A steady stream of content improvements and corrections are all logged, like on Wikipedia:
- Aug 3: professions reviewed +Completely rebooted, truly “like new.”
Reviews of Pain Professions
- Aug 3: taping +Added short new section about some silly research: “Bemused scientific post script: does the colour of the tape matter?” Spoiler: no.
Kinesio Taping Review
- Aug 2: iliotibial band syndrome +Major revision, introduction — My book introductions have always been strong on detailed, nuanced splainin’… but weak on quick, bird’s eye view of all the basics (like on a Mayo Clinic page would do). This revision aims for a better balance. The introductory sections have been tuned to start with really basic information (wide but shallow), so that any visitor can quickly and easily get some decent information, even if they don’t scroll past the first screen or two.
Save Yourself from IT Band Syndrome!
- Aug 1: vibration therapy +“Massage guns” were strangely missing from this article, as well as any discussion of their efficacy, so I corrected that. I also substantially revised everything to make this a more general article about the theme of vibration in both medicine and quackery.
- Jul 27: inequality and chronic pain +Added a substantial section about the “myth of feminine fragility.”
Chronic Pain and Inequality
- + many more
You’ve got a lot of reading to do! Sorry it’s all here on the computer …
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