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
Controversy, stigma & quackery swirl around fibromyalgia like a bad smell. Here’s a rational guide to the mysterious disease of pain, exhaustion & mental fog.
A little bit of inflammation spread all over the place is one possible culprit in chronic pain.
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.
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!
IT band syndrome dominates the side of the knee. Patellofemoral pain is more variable, but usually more in front.
The cause of sore spots in muscles is mysterious & controversial. Are muscle “knots” basically micro-cramps? Delve into the science.
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 19: Epsom salts +Upgraded, the logical limits of any one pain treatment — Just more and clearer information.
Does Epsom Salt Work?
- Aug 17: Achilles tendinitis +Much more detailed information, and more science, about heel drops and the Alfredson protocol.
Achilles Tendinitis Treatment Science
- Aug 16: therapeutic touch/Reiki +New section, “Matter/energy equivalence and quantum rationalizations.”
Therapeutic “Touch” Is Pseudoscience
- Aug 16: causes of pain +Added minor-but-nice perspective about the “official” major categories of causes of pain. Pie chart included.
33 Surprising Causes of Pain
- Aug 16: progressive training +New section (first update here in ages): “You can recover from practically anything with baby steps… but not everything.”
- + many more
You’ve got a lot of reading to do! Sorry it’s all here on the computer …
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