And what doesn’t? And why? PainScience.com explores the surprisingly weird science of many kinds of chronic pain and injury, from fibromyalgia to runner’s knee. The site is a library of a couple deep-dive articles for both patients and healthcare professionals, informal but heavily referenced and constantly updated for 20 years. Like it says on the tin, there’s a pro-science bias here, and quackery is kicked to the curb. More.
Why the salamander? More mascot than logo, the salamander’s astonishing regenerative biology is a symbol of healing. More.
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What hurts? The most popular guides to specific conditions
- When to Worry About Neck Pain … and when not to! — Tips, checklists, and non-scary possible explanations for neck pain.
- A Deep Dive into Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness — The biology & treatment of the “muscle fever” that follows intense exercise.
- The Complete Guide to IT Band Syndrome — Everything you could possibly want to know about the most common type of runner’s knee.
- 6 Main Causes of Morning Back Pain — Why is back pain worst first thing in the morning?
- A Rational Guide to Fibromyalgia — All about the mysterious disease of pain, exhaustion, and mental fog.
- Cramps, Spasms, Tremors & Twitches — The biology and treatment of unwanted muscle contractions.
- Complete Guide to Frozen Shoulder — Exploring one of the strangest of all common musculoskeletal conditions.
- INDEX of 52 CONDITION GUIDES
What works? The most popular treatment reviews
- Quite a Stretch — The most popular form of therapeutic exercise… has few actual benefits.
- Does Epsom Salt Work? — The science and mythology of Epsom salt bathing as a tonic for pain & injury.
- Trigger Point Therapy — All about the strange therapeutic art of… pressing on sore spots?
- Strength Training Frequency — Strength training is surprisingly efficient, good medicine.
- The Chiropractic Controversies — A tour of far too many chiropractic controversies.
- Does Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection Work? — Nope. The first popular “regenerative” therapy is bogus.
- Zapped! Does TENS work for pain? — Electrical stimulation is perpetually popular, which is weird.
- See also compilations of the most proven pain treatments, as well as a much wider range of more speculative options (but still safer and more plausible).
- INDEX of 92 TREATMENT REVIEWS
Yes, but why? Articles about key concepts and principles of pain
- Pain is Weird — Pain is trickster, a volatile and misleading sensation.
- Your Back Is Not Out of Alignment — Debunking the obsession with alignment and biomechanics.
- MRI Worse than Useless for Back Pain — The legacy of the false alarm machines!
- Is Running on Pavement Risky? — Hard-surface running might be a risk factor for running injuries. It’s surprising hard to tell.
- Sensitization — Pain can change how pain works… and never for the better.
- INDEX of 55 ARTICLES ABOUT CONCEPTS
The blog & newsletter: pain science news, highlights, and musings
The PainScience.com blog is the “director’s commentary” for the site.
- Oct 4: Chasing posture as a cause of back pain is a dead end
- Sep 26: Pulling on nerves for fun and therapy
- Sep 21: Icing is not dead
- Sep 15: Cognitive behavioural therapy for low back pain (Member Post)
- Sep 13: Charles, the Alternative King?
- INDEX of 1025 POSTS
What’s new? Article updates
A steady stream of content improvements and corrections are all logged, like on Wikipedia.
- Oct 5: pain science +Science update — Added a sidebar about the failure of phantom limb pain as a major example of pain without injury, citing Ilfeld.
Pain is Weird
- Oct 5: low back pain +Rewritten — A complete reboot of my coverage of the topic of yoga for back pain, with much more (and more recent) science.
The Complete Guide to Low Back Pain
- Oct 4: posture +Science update — Added a citation to Having ‘good’ posture doesn’t prevent back pain, and ‘bad’ posture doesn’t cause it.
Does Posture Matter?
- Sep 20: pain science +Editing — And still more minor improvements and clarifications in several sections.
Pain is Weird
- Sep 20: low back pain +Science update — Added a much more detailed explanation of how the sensitivity of muscle has been demonstrated experimentally, based on Graven-Nielsen et al.
The Complete Guide to Low Back Pain
- INDEX of MANY MORE UPDATES
You’ve got a lot of reading to do! Sorry it’s all here on the computer …
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