See also the complete article index, sitemap or home page.
The science of aches and pains and injuries is surprisingly weird, controversial, and interesting. My job is to wrap my head around that science and translate it for both patients and pros, about 44,000 of you each day, viewing about 1.5 million pages/month. I try to make it friendlier than the institutional health care sites, but more scholarly and detailed than most health blogs.
PainScience.com is …
- 233 featured articles about common pain problems, how pain works, and reviews of treatments and therapies. Many of these are “best of breed” articles that I’ve been updating constantly for many years.
- 8 book-length tutorials about some of the most maddeningly stubborn pain problems and injuries (like neck pain or iliotibial band syndrome). I sell these for $20 each to fund the site without ads.
- 755 smaller blog posts about interesting (and weird) stuff I come across while I am updating the big articles.
- 2500+ scientific paper citations in a curated bibliography, about 500 of them described more thoroughly.
The word count for all that is about 2 million in all, bigger than all the Game of Thrones novels. For ideas about where to start, see the home page or what’s new, or the reading guides for patients & professionals.
What makes PainScience.com different and better?
- clean design, clear writing
- zero advertising
- more detail on many topics than anywhere else
- no flaky bullshit, an openly pro-science bias
- thousands of footnotes that popup in place1My footnotes contain either extra commentary and whimsical asides, or citations to science and other sources, like this:
Woolf CJ. Central sensitization: Implications for the diagnosis and treatment of pain. Pain. 2010 Oct;152(2 Suppl):S2–15. PubMed #20961685. ❐ PainSci #54851. ❐
- constantly updated with fresh science2Detailed update logs (like Wikipedia) mean readers can easily see what’s new (or corrected). These logs demonstrate a long-term commitment to quality and accuracy. (Although they are “fine print,” I think they are more meaningful than 98% of the comments that most Internet pages waste pixels on.) See the What’s New on PainScience.com? page for all updates around the site going back many months.
And who am I?
I am a science writer in Vancouver, Canada. I was a Registered Massage Therapist for a decade, and the assistant editor of Science-Based Medicine from 2009–2016. I am middle-aged runner and ultimate player with lots of my own athletic injuries and chronic pain. Full bio.
Follow the money
This site makes money from the sale of educational e-books (not advertising). The self-publishing success story is of interest to many readers. Please support PainScience.com by buying some books, donate by linking if you have your own blog, sharing a favourite article on social media, or making a small contribution to my income — like paying a busker.
More about PainScience.com
- I have a reading guide just for card-carrying skeptics — an important audience for me.
- Why am I so “negative”? Critical of things? I reject the premise of the question. Read about why I’m a debunker (and get a taste of some of my fabulous hate mail).
- Who did the site design and how do I publish so much material? Take a brief tour of some of the odd technology and design principles used here.
- PainScience.com does not host comments, because reasons.
- So what’s with the salamander anyway? He’s more mascot than logo, a symbol of regeneration and healing.
Kind of like Wikipedia
A reader mentioned to me by email that the “problem” with PainScience.com is that “it’s exactly like this” — like getting lost in fascinating distractions in Wikipedia. A very generous comparison. I do try …
xkcd #214 © xkcd.com by Randall Munroe