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.
The basic newsletter is free. Subscribers get several posts per month, mostly small, highlighting new content on PainScience.com, especially interesting new science and anything useful to patients or professionals. Browse the archives. ❐
Free subscribers can upgrade to a paid membership at any time, unlocking extra newsletter posts, plus members-only content in website’s main article library, plus audio content. Learn more about membership, or just pull the trigger:
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.
- May 27: Is running downhill healthier than running up?
- May 25: Placebo paradoxes pacified (Member Post)
- May 24: We do not have the muscle balance science
- May 23: Dozens of studies can still be wrong
- May 23: Relaxation for abyssal horrors
- INDEX of 1067 POSTS
What’s new? Article updates
A steady stream of content improvements and corrections are all logged, like on Wikipedia.
- May 26: most effective chronic pain treatments +Added section: “Icing and heating work (not dramatically, but accessibly and comfortingly in many painful situations).”
What Works for Pain?
- May 26: placebo +Added some classic citations, most notably to Beecher and Hróbjartsson.
Placebo Power Hype
- May 20: muscle strains +Science update, muscle balance chapter — Cited Guan, a good review of all inter-limb asymmetry evidence.
The Complete Guide to Muscle Strains
- May 14: causes of pain +Added a section about adenosine monophosphate deaminase 1 (AMPD1) deficiency.
35 Surprising Causes of Pain
- May 13: unwanted muscle contractions +New section about using botox to treat unwanted contractions.
Cramps, Spasms, Tremors & Twitches
- INDEX of MANY MORE UPDATES
You’ve got a lot of reading to do! Sorry it’s all here on the computer …
If PainScience.com is useful to you, say thanks with a donation