Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

New article about pain types 

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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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.

In late 2014 I moved all of the articles I’d ever written about pain from the old domain “” to the shiny new “,” and I knew that I would have to write even more articles to be worthy of that name — more articles about pain science. I’d always stuck to writing mostly about injury, manual therapy, and rehab (stuff that was clearly in the scope of practice in my old job as a massage therapist). Vast regions of the science of painful things were neglected (the Neurology Ocean, the Rheumatology Continent, and so on).

Since then I have definitely started to spread out, with new articles and major updates about opioids for musculoskeletal pain and over-the-counter pain-killers, the effect of smoking on pain, unusual sources of pain, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), the ugly details of the controversy about trigger points, a much broader look at morning back pain, plus pain conditions that are much more about “software” than “hardware,” like headaches and frozen shoulder and (a really weird one) globus pharyngis.

Today I’m announcing a new article that moves one important stride closer to being worthy of its name: an explainer about the pain types, nociceptive and neuropathic pain. It’s short but intense (like the author). I wanted to write a good, readable explanation of nociceptive and neuropathic pain, but what really fascinates me is the kind of pain that does not fit into those broad categories: the mysterious and problematic “other” kind of pain, where diseases like fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome languish, taxonomic ghosts haunting half the population. Enjoy!

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