People search for the darndest things.
If you know where to look, a website publisher can find out exactly which Google searches are being used by visitors (in real-time, no less). So, for instance, I can go and look right now and see that someone typed “do bad things happen with low back pain” into Google, and then saw and clicked on the link to my article, When to Worry About Low Back Pain. Welcome terrified reader! That article does have an answer to your question, and I’m afraid the answer is, “Oh, hell yes.” (But there’s good news too: “bad” things are fairly rare.)
(Bonus hilarity: the only search autocomplete option for that search is “why do bad things happen to me.” That search does not lead anyone to PainScience.com. But I encourage you to try it anyway. God figures prominently in those results, I notice.)
PainScience.com is pretty busy, and mostly from Google searching, so there are literally tens of thousands of these every day, and some of them are mighty peculiar. (Among other things.) I’ve been collecting some of the strangest and most poignant for months now. Here they are, with my tongue-in-cheek answers. Each question is linked to the article the searcher found. Obviously I will expand this collection over time.
Dear Google: what if your back xrays show everything is fine?
X-rays never miss anything important ever, so you’re all good! Carry on. [Search led to: When to Worry About Low Back Pain]
Dear Google: what does weirdness in your chest and neck mean?
You probably have a little baby alien growing in there. [Search led to: Massage Therapy for Neck Pain, Chest Pain, Arm Pain, and Upper Back Pain]
Dear Google: bad injuries!
That seems a little vague. Was this person searching for snuff films, maybe? [Search led to: Icing for Injuries, Tendinitis, and Inflammation. Not sure why!]
Dear Google: should a massage be painful
Only if you’re into that kind of thing. [Search led to: The Pressure Question in Massage Therapy]
Dear Google: do bad things happen with low back pain
Oh, hell yes. [Search led to: When to Worry About Low Back Pain]
Dear Google: Is pain so bad where one believes in nothing? More painful still.
Pain so bad even belief cannot escape it! [Search led to: Pain is Weird]
Dear Google: is it true that if u have never had sex u will have back pains?
No. They say there’s no such thing as a stupid question, but I think this is definitive proof that there actually is. [Search led to: When to Worry About Low Back Pain]
Dear Google: bottom of neck moving when breathing
That sounds like it could be serious, but I have an important question: how far?! [Search led to: The Respiration Connection]
Dear Google: globus in throat makes me suicidal
Okay, this isn’t an odd search, just a tragic and heart wrenching one. And I totally get it, because I’ve been there: I’m a phantom throat lump survivor, which is why I have an article about it (and why this person found PainScience with that search).
Dear Google: should a person laying about tub on their back with their head emerged in the water yes or no
What could possibly go wrong? I’m going to go with no. Just for safety. Assuming “emerged” was supposed to submerged, of course. [Search led to: Hot Baths for Injury & Pain]
Dear Google: refjecology arch of the foit tender [Search led to: Massage Therapy for Tired Feet (and Plantar Fasciitis!)]
To Google’s credit, they actually seem to understand what this searcher probably meant. Apparently (and interestingly) you don’t have to be able to spell or type to use Google. Which is actually pretty amazing when you think about it.
Dear Google: are chiropractors legit
Some of them, yes, absolutely. But, just like we say about lawyers, 90% of them are ruining the reputation of the rest! (Except with lawyers it’s just comic hyperbole.) There really are a lot of controversies about chiropractic clinical and business practices. [Search led to: The Chiropractic Controversies]
Dear Google: what does it mean if your back hurts and u have tingling in your A
Armpit? Adenoids? Ankle? Adam’s apple? Ass? Anus? Probably anus, because that’s actually a (scary) thing: back pain and anus tingling is definitely cause for concern. [Search led to: When to Worry About Low Back Pain]
Dear Google: She is always healthy, so everyone was a bit puzzle.
I know, right? I’m a bit puzzle too! I’m puzzle why anyone would expect this search to produce meaningful results, for instance. [Search led to: Your Back Is Not Out of Alignment]
Dear Google: I must have twice as much facial muscles as most humans because I can make
What? You can make what?! Oooh, wondering about this is going to make me crazy. (But there’s no such thing as having “twice is much facial muscles,” no matter what you can make.) [Search led to: How Many Muscles In the Human Body?]
Dear Google: What can make my back stiff and feel like its going to break?
Practically everything about life makes backs feel stiff, my friend. But the feeling that it’s going to break is more profound, and probably caused mainly by some fairly scary medical crap. Or maybe you’re just being a drama queen and describing your ordinary back pain in a colourful way, like someone with a headache saying their head feels like it’s going to explode. [Search led to: Morning Back Pain]
Dear Google: Does the tropessoid muscle attach to a womans breasts?
No: the tropessoid muscle exists only in your mind. Alas, no real muscle “attaches to” a woman’s breasts, per se — which is unfortunate, because such a muscle could be a really amazing source of entertainment for almost everyone. [Search led to: Massage Therapy for Neck Pain, Chest Pain, Arm Pain, and Upper Back Pain]
Dear Google: when u run every time u breathe u feel like wind is in ur ears
Clearly you’re high. Just enjoy it. Carry on! [Search led to: The Respiration Connection]
Dear Google: stabbing vulnerable paralysing spots!
Yikes, sounds bad. If you can actually get help for that from this website, great!
Dear Google: is it ok to mastersbate during massage?
No. But so sweet to check. PainScience.com simply does not appear in these (icky) search results, so I’m not sure how that search landed anyone on my domain. But it did somehow.
Dear Google: can you trap a muscle in your bum?
If you try hard enough, maybe. But I suspect that's going to work out about like a cat trying to catch a laser.
About Paul Ingraham
I am a science writer, former massage therapist, and I was the assistant editor at ScienceBasedMedicine.org for several years. I have had my share of injuries and pain challenges as a runner and ultimate player. My wife and I live in downtown Vancouver, Canada. See my full bio and qualifications, or my blog, Writerly. You might run into me on Facebook or Twitter.