Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

PainSci Update Roundup (July 5, 2021)

 •  • by Paul Ingraham

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 PainScience.com: 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 recent updates to PainSci core content as of July 5, 2021. The update roundup will be a new tradition, cooked up for the coming-very-soon-now email newsletter.

I constantly produce updates to core content all over the site. I have announced major updates here in the blog, but the only way to find out about many smaller ones has been to visit the what’s new page and have a look-see.

Not good enough! Probably the top reason anyone will subscribe to my almost-here email newsletter is to just to know what’s cooking around here. So I had better make sure that information is in that newsletter. (Have I mentioned that the email newsletter is due any time now? Maybe next week. Hell, maybe later today.)

(I also considered just automagically adding logged updates to the blog — the update descriptions already exist, after all, because I log all of them as I do them — but that would have been a lot of programming work, and it’s too hot for that. And a slightly edited digest version will be easy and better anyway.)

The updates

First top-to-bottom proofreading for the headache book since its launch, catching many minor errors that crept in doing about a dozen updates over the last year and half. See The Complete Guide to Chronic Tension Headaches. 🪄 Presto fixo, no more typo!

A big one: there’s a whole “new” article this week about mind over pain. Much of the content has been around for years, but it had outgrown its original home on the “pain is weird” page. So I moved the mind-over-pain stuff to its own page, where I can give it the attention it deserves.

I also updated it quite a bit in the process, so it’s not just transplanted content. For instance, one of many new or greatly expanded sections is about analgesic catharsis or “emotional release,” something I have been meaning to write about for many years.

Added minor clarifications about the upper limits of the efficacy of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (not very high, of course), plus some more kinds of conditions they don’t play nicely with. Minor but important. See The Science of Pain-Killers.

Added a new section to the opioids article: see “How opioids can cause pain: the insidious trap of downregulation.” Trying to describe downregulation cleanly was a fun writing challenge.

New chapter for the IT band syndrome book about the “dysfunctionality” of the tensor fascia latae muscle. Lots of overlap with the blog post, but there's extra stuff about runners’ knee specifically. See The Complete Guide to IT Band Syndrome. [Paywalled.]

Seems like a light week, but it’s an illusion: there’s actually a whole bunch more that I’m just not ready to announce yet. Needs proofreading!

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