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
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!
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.
Controversy, stigma & quackery swirl around fibromyalgia like a bad smell. Here’s a rational guide to the mysterious disease of pain, exhaustion & mental fog.
IT band syndrome dominates the side of the knee. Patellofemoral pain is more variable, but usually more in front.
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?
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.
- Sep 30: Handy short links for all articles
- Sep 30: Google strikes again!
- Sep 24: The significance of painful “niggles” during exercise
- Sep 24: Abstract vs. paper
- Sep 24: He’s hypothesizing, you know
- + 861 more posts …
Recent site updates
A steady stream of content improvements and corrections are all logged, like on Wikipedia:
- Sep 30: smoking and pain +Science update. Added a good fresh citation to Smuck et al about the link between smoking and pain.
Smoking and Chronic Pain
- Sep 30: headaches +New section, the impact of smoking —
The Complete Guide to Chronic Tension Headaches
- Sep 29: massage and circulation +Proofreading.
Does Massage Increase Circulation?
- Sep 26: frozen shoulder +Major upgrade, steroid injections — Much more thorough exploration of the plausibility and evidence for exploiting the “WOO” that is probably created by steroid injections.
Complete Guide to Frozen Shoulder
- Sep 24: preventing sports injuries +New section: “Heed the signs! Painful ‘niggles’ are a loud-and-clear sign of an increased risk of injury.”
Sports Injury Prevention Tips
- + many more
You’ve got a lot of reading to do! Sorry it’s all here on the computer …
If you’ve found PainScience.com useful, say thanks with a donation.