What works for pain? Articles about treatments, therapies, and rehab for pain and injury
Spinal manipulation: one of the classic treatment options.
There are thousands of treatment (and coping) options for people in pain, from pills to surgeries. Scams are everywhere, but so is evidence-based hope. Get started with a big collection of pain survival tips, with links to dozens more articles about popular DIY treatments like self-massage, strength training, ice or heat, the amazingly controversial Epsom salts, and pain creams like Traumeel (arnica). I also review major therapy methods like massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture.
Dozens of articles about all specific treatments and philosophies of treatment are listed below, and PainScience.com has many more about specific painful problems, how pain works, and much more.
Exercise! The closest thing there is to a miracle drug
- Strength Training Frequency — Less is more than enough: go to the gym less frequently but still gain strength fast enough for anyone but a bodybuilder
- Quite a Stretch — Stretching science shows that a stretching habit isn’t doing much of what people hope
- The Art of Rest — The finer points of resting strategy when recovering from injury and chronic pain (hint: it’s a bit trickier than you might think).
- The Trouble with Chairs — The science of being sedentary and how much it does (or doesn’t) affect your health and back pain
- Does Posture Correction Matter? — Posture correction strategies and exercises … and some reasons not to care or bother
- Get in the Pool for Pain — Aquatic therapy, aquajogging, water yoga, floating and other water-based treatment and injury rehab options
Massage therapy: everyone’s favourite luxury therapy
Chiropractic: perpetually the most controversial health care profession
- Does Chiropractic Work? — An introduction to chiropractic controversies like aggressive billing, spinal adjustment as a panacea, treating kids, neck manipulation risks, and more.
- Spinal Subluxation — Is there any such thing? Probably not.
- Does Spinal Manipulation Work? — Spinal manipulation, adjustment, and popping of the spinal joints and the subluxation theory of disease, back pain and neck pain.
- Organ Health Does Not Depend on Spinal Nerves! — One of the key selling points for chiropractic care is the anatomically impossible premise that your spinal nerve roots are important to your general health.
Medications, gadgets & hardware
- Does Arnica Cream Work for Pain? — A detailed review of popular homeopathic (diluted) herbal creams like Traumeel, used for muscle pain, joint pain, sports injuries, bruising, and post-surgical inflammation.
- Voltaren® Gel — A useful rub-on anti-inflammatory medication.
- Opioids for Chronic Aches & Pains — The nuclear option: “Hillbilly heroin” (Oxycontin), codeine and other opioids for musculoskeletal problems like neck and back pain.
- Zapped! Does TENS work for pain? — The peculiar popularity of being gently zapped with electrical stimulation therapy.
- Does Therapeutic Ultrasound Work? — Many concerns about the widespread usage of therapeutic ultrasound, especially extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT).
- Does Epsom Salt Work? — The science of Epsom salt bathing for recovery from muscle pain, soreness, or injury.
- Can Supplements Help Arthritis and Other Aches and Pains? — Debunkery and analysis of supplements and food-like medicines (nutraceuticals), especially glucosamine, chondroitin, and creatine, mostly as they relate to pain.
- Vitamin D for Pain — Is it safe and reasonable for chronic pain patients to take higher doses of Vitamin D? And just how high is safe?
- Kinesio Taping Review — A quick analysis of that colourful therapy tape that was so popular at the Olympics. Does it help?
- Spinal Fracture Bracing — My wife’s terrible accident, and a whirlwind tour of the science and biomechanics of her spine brace.
- Orthotics Review — A consumer’s guide to the science and controversies of orthotics, special shoes, and other (allegedly) corrective foot devices.
Minimally invasive procedures, injections,
Energy medicine & subtle therapies
Consumer tips, advocacy & anti-quackery activism
- Modality Empires — A tradition of ego-driven treatment methods in manual therapy.
- Healer Syndrome — The problem with health care professionals, especially in alternative medicine, who want to be known as “healers”.
- Choose Cheaper Treatments — All other things being equal, always choose the cheapest and most comfortable treatment option for your pain problem.
- Popular but Weird & Dangerous Cures — The most dangerous, strange, and yet popular snake oils and “treatments” in history (and why anecdotes and testimonials cannot be trusted).
- Alternative to What? — “Alternative” health care professionals need to decide what they are really the alternative to.
- Extraordinary Health Claims — A guide to critical thinking, skepticism, and smart Internet reading about health care.