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
The cause of sore spots in muscles is mysterious & controversial. Are muscle “knots” basically micro-cramps? Delve into the science.
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.
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?
The newest featured treatment review on PainScience.com, a deep dive into the science of zapping yourself to treat pain.
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.
A little bit of inflammation spread all over the place is one possible culprit in chronic pain.
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.
- Oct 23: Pets don’t want snake oil
- Oct 17: Hydrocephalus and craniosacral therapy
- Oct 17: Teh warr on typohs
- Oct 13: Two kinds of pain: sexual and non-sexual?
- Oct 12: Chatting trigger points with Matt Phillips for Run Chat Live
- + 868 more posts …
Recent site updates
A steady stream of content improvements and corrections are all logged, like on Wikipedia:
- Oct 19: bogus citations +New section, “Malice and fraud versus incompetence and self-delusion.”
13 Kinds of Bogus Citations
- Oct 18: update to multiple pages +Several hundred typos have been eliminated from about 70 PainScience.com articles in a major proofreading effort. The project has reached a milestone, and will continue but with diminishing returns. See my blog post, “The Warr on Tipos.”
- Oct 16: craniosacral therapy +New section, “Can craniosacral therapy treat hydrocephalus?” Also a science update, citing Haller.
Does Craniosacral Therapy Work?
- Oct 15: stretching for sports +Edited — Just a thorough proofreading, eliminating several of minor errors and glitches.
5 Main Reasons Athletes Stretch… All Flawed
- Oct 15: delayed-onset muscle soreness +Correction: new evidence suggests that the phenomenon of non-local muscle fatigue isn’t quite as well-established as I thought (see Behm).
Post-Exercise, Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness
- + many more
You’ve got a lot of reading to do! Sorry it’s all here on the computer …
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