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
Frozen shoulder is one of the strangest of all musculoskeletal conditions, with ties to metabolic disorders & autoimmune disease.
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.
Controversy, stigma & quackery swirl around fibromyalgia like a bad smell. Here’s a rational guide to the mysterious disease of pain, exhaustion & mental fog.
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!
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!
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
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.
- Aug 10: A new book about frozen shoulder
- Jul 14: Summer 2019 blog pause
- Jul 8: A genetic defect that exaggerates all sensations (including pain)
- Jun 26: Hundreds of old bibliography links fixed
- Jun 22: Two pet theories about inflammation
- + 778 more posts …
Recent site updates
A steady stream of content improvements and corrections are all logged, like on Wikipedia:
- Aug 24: plantar fasciitis +Upgrade, strengthening section — In response to a reader inquiry, I discussed eccentric training, the Alfredson protocol, and the difference between heel drops and heel raises.
Save Yourself from Plantar Fasciitis!
- Aug 21: anxiety +Added quite a bit of recommended reading.
Anxiety & Chronic Pain
- Aug 20: headaches +Science update, headache and trigger points (muscle knots) — Added a citation to build the case that headaches are linked to muscle soreness.
Complete Guide to Headaches
- Aug 20: headaches +Clarifications, intro the nature of tension headaches — Revised for clarity, added a reference.
Complete Guide to Headaches
- Aug 19: Epsom salts +Upgraded, the logical limits of any one pain treatment — Just more and clearer information.
Does Epsom Salt Work?
- + 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.