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.
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.
Frozen shoulder is one of the strangest of all musculoskeletal conditions, with ties to metabolic disorders & autoimmune disease.
A little bit of inflammation spread all over the place is one possible culprit in chronic pain.
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.
- Jun 22: Two pet theories about inflammation
- Jun 19: Benzodiazapene withdrawal syndrome
- Jun 18: What the hell is a “tension” headache?
- Jun 11: Just the right amount of hyperbole
- Jun 5: Strengthening-while-lengthening is a “proven” rehab method for muscle strain
- + 774 more posts …
Recent site updates
A steady stream of content improvements and corrections are all logged, like on Wikipedia:
- Jun 22: stretching +New section, on stretching, inflammation, and aging —
Quite a Stretch
- Jun 20: sciatica +Added discussion of cluneal nerve entrapment and trochanter pain syndrome to the diagnosis section.
A Guide to Sciatica Treatment for Patients
- Jun 19: fibromyalgia +New section: “The inflammaging hypothesis: fibromyalgia as premature aging.”
A Rational Guide to Fibromyalgia
- Jun 19: trigger points +Upgraded — Added more detail about greater trochanteric pain syndrome, making the section a little more useful to many readers.
Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain Syndrome
- Jun 18: tension headaches +Science update, spinal manipulation chapter — An “update” with an old citation, but a good one.
Complete Guide to Headaches
- + many more
You’ve got a lot of reading to do! Sorry it’s all here on the computer …
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