Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

All about the science

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
Get posts in your inbox:
Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

As I continue to tie up loose ends from the big bibliography upgrade, I realize that I’ve actually written quite a lot over the years about science, research, citing, and, yes, even statistics. Apparently I can’t resist writing super dorky, abstract articles! They’ve really piled up over the years. Here’s eight links to get you thinking deep thoughts about science …

  1. 13 Kinds of Bogus Citations — Classic ways to self-servingly screw up references to science, like “the sneaky reach” or “the uncheckable”
  2. Studying the Pain Studies — Tips and musings about how to understand (and write about) the extremely flawed science of pain and musculoskeletal medicine
  3. Is Diagnosis for Pain Problems Reliable? — Reliability science shows that health professionals can’t agree on many popular theories about why you’re in pain
  4. Statistical Significance Abuse — A lot of research makes scientific evidence seem much more “significant” than it is
  5. Most Pain Treatments Damned With Faint Praise — Most controversial and alternative therapies are fighting over scraps of “positive” scientific evidence that damn them with the faint praise of small effect sizes that cannot impress
  6. Ioannidis: Making Medical Science Look Bad Since 2005 — A famous and excellent scientific paper … with an alarmingly misleading title
  7. A Historical Perspective On Aches ‘n’ Pains — We are living in a golden age of pain science and musculoskeletal medicine … sorta
  8. Why So “Negative”? — Answering accusations of negativity, and my reasons and methods for debunking bad treatment options for pain and injury. (Seems off-topic here, but it has some sections about the null hypothesis at the end.)

I’m also happy to report that I’ve been exploiting my new bibliography super powers: science updates for the books have started to flow again after a fallow period, and I’m working on completely new content again for the first time in ages. Feels good!