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
Walk down a busy street in Canada, Russia, or northern Europe & you’ll pass someone with vitamin D deficiency every few seconds. And they may be in pain, too.
Muscle fever — such a wonderfully descriptive term — is that distinctive muscle pain that nearly everyone gets after intense exercise. How does it work & can anything help?
IT band syndrome dominates the side of the knee. Patellofemoral pain is more variable, but usually more in front.
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.
Frozen shoulder is one of the strangest of all musculoskeletal conditions, with ties to metabolic disorders & autoimmune disease.
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.
- 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
- Jun 19: Benzodiazapene withdrawal syndrome
- + 777 more posts …
Recent site updates
A steady stream of content improvements and corrections are all logged, like on Wikipedia:
- Jul 17: causes of pain +Two new sections about mitochondrial disease and neuroinflammation, plus a bunch of editing to integrate those topics with some of the others. Also changed the introduction to emphasize that chronic pain is seriously multifactorial, some critical context previously neglected.
32 Surprising Causes of Pain
- Jul 17: pain tips +New section, vulnerability —
Pain & Injury Survival Tips
- Jul 15: fascia +General edit — Corrected a large batch typos and other minor errors generously compiled by reader M.M.
Does Fascia Matter?
- Jul 13: low back pain +Major revision, prolotherapy — Thorough science update and much more detail. Prolotherapy has gotten a bit of a revival in the last few years, and it’s persistence in the marketplace justifies more detailed coverage of the topic. Unfortunately, the bottom line hasn’t budged: still not recommended for back pain.
Save Yourself from Low Back Pain!
- Jul 9: platelet-rich plasma +General editing and minor updates. Spelled out the relationship to other cell and stem cell therapies much more clearly than before.
Does Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection Work?
- + many more
You’ve got a lot of reading to do! Sorry it’s all here on the computer …
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