Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

PainSci Update Roundup (Sep 14, 2021)

 •  • 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.

This is a summary of noteworthy updates to 7 articles and books on since early August — fiddling while the world burned and baked and flooded, and the pandemic roared on. I do wonder how much of a role will have in the “challenging” future that is bearing down on us. How many people will still want to learn everything there is to know about runner’s knee when the flames are encroaching and the water is rising? I suspect the answer is “not nearly as many.”

On the other hand, pain is so primal that maybe this job is secure for a long time yet. But it would be wise to shift my focus to more life-altering kinds pain — more serious, more systemic — and I have been naturally doing that as my own knowledge grows, and I get better at the job. There’s a backlog of updates of this nature that I’m not announcing yet, because I am still working on them. And working, and working… 😜

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The late summer updates

The Complete Guide to Low Back Pain

Minor improvements to the chapter on crookedness: I added some colour, and did a little editing. Added a citation and expert opinion about core weakness and spinal stability.

Achilles Tendinitis Treatment Science

Two new sections about muscle: “Massage for Achilles tendinitis” and “The role of the plantaris muscle in Achilles tendinitis.” Also added a couple two citations and an expert quote on the topic of eccentric training.

A Rational Guide to Fibromyalgia

Added some humour: “Demon tries to inhabit my body … and regrets it.” I also made some significant improvements to the clarity of the section explaining “diagnosis of exclusion.”

The Complete Guide to Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

One of the early premium posts is now a chapter in the patellofemoral pain book, all about the role of plantaris hypertonia — mostly a bad example of clinical reasoning about knee pain.

Medical Errors in Perspective

Added a new intro with more information and citations about the claim that medicine is the “third leading cause of death in America.” It’s not.

Cold Laser Therapy Reviewed

Added a small new section, “Lasers versus LEDs,” explaining one of the hottest ongoing controversies about photobiomodulation therapy (and much ado about not much).

Cramps, Spasms, Tremors & Twitches

Added mentions of restless leg syndrome and myoclonus, clarified the description of clonus, and expanded on my own experience with fasciculations.