Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

Treatments for Pain

An index of science-based, opinionated reviews about what works for pain, what doesn’t, and why

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Spinal manipulation: one of the classic treatment options. But does it actually work?

There are countless treatments for people in pain, most of them of dubious value. Scams are everywhere! But so is evidence-based hope. Get started with a big compilation of pain survival tips, with links to dozens more articles about popular DIY treatments like self-massage, ice or heat, or the amazingly controversial Epsom salts. I also review major therapy methods like massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture — or start with an overview of all kinds of hands-on therapy, or an opinionated guide to all the kinds of professionals who might be able to help.

What Works for Chronic Pain? is a more exclusive guide to only the most proven chronic pain treatments — no experimental and speculative therapies allowed makes it a depressingly short list.

This is a collection of reviews of treatments, but there are also many guides to common painful conditions, plus many articles about how pain works.

Articles containing members-only content are badged with MEMBERS and they are also highlighted if it’s a substantial section.

Exercise! The closest thing there is to a miracle drug

See also this article about the relationship between overall fitness and vulnerability to pain. While not about “exercise,” per se, it’s a critical related concept: poor metabolic health is a major risk factor for injury and pain, and getting in shape is an extremely good long-term investment in minimizing chronic pain.

Massage therapy: everyone’s favourite luxury therapy

Why so much content about massage? It’s the most popular of all the major “alternatives” to medicine for chronic pain — and the most uncritically accepted. Also, I used to be a massage therapist.

Chiropractic: perpetually the most controversial health care profession

Medications & supplements

Tools, gadgets & hardware


Injections, surgeries (mostly minor surgeries), and other procedures

Energy medicine & “subtle” therapies

Mind-body and psychology

Consumer tips, advocacy & anti-quackery activism

Hard to categorize, but important

PainSci Member Login » Submit your email to unlock member content. If you can’t remember/access your registration email, please contact me. ~ Paul Ingraham, PainSci Publisher