Why does it hurt? Articles about how pain works
One of the principle qualities of pain is that it demands an explanation.
Plainwater, by Anne Carson
Why does this happen?!
Pain is quite weird and surprisingly misleading. If you have chronic pain, it can be a huge help to understand things like why injuries sometimes heal slowly or how insomnia makes pain so much worse, or the role of chronic low-grade inflammation. On the other hand, there’s a lot you don’t need to worry about, like your back being out of alignment and bad posture (both highly over-rated causes of pain).
Many more articles about the nature of the beast are listed below, and PainScience.com has dozens more about specific painful problems, treatments and therapies, and much more.
One article to rule them all
By far the most important article about the nature of the pain beast on the site is about the modern revolution in the science of pain — which is all about how pain is a judgement call made by a paranoid brain. This article has a strong and unique focus on the idea of “mind over pain,” and the difficult question of whether or not it’s realistic.
Fundamentals: the biology of pain
Pain & the mind
Other factors in pain (both underestimated & over)
Articles that delve into the nature of specific problems
- Repetitive Strain Injuries Tutorial — Five surprising and important facts about repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, or iliotibial band syndrome.
- The Mind Game in Low Back Pain — How back pain is powered by fear and loathing, and greatly helped by rational confidence.
- Morning Back Pain — A thorough review of possible causes for this frustrating symptom.
- The Respiration Connection — How dysfunctional breathing might be a root cause of a variety of common upper body pain problems and injuries.
- Why Does Pain Hurt? — How an evolutionary wrong turn led to a biological glitch that condemned the animal kingdom — you included — to much louder, longer pain.
- Psoas, So What? — Massage therapy for the psoas major and iliacus (iliopsoas) muscles is not that big a deal.
- A Recipe for Chronic Neck Pain After Whiplash — Researchers discover some surprising risk factors for chronic neck pain in the aftermath of whiplash.
- Natural Imperfection — Evolution doesn’t care if you have back pain … just as long as you can breed.