Where do I get my information?

I know I talk about a wide range of topics on this blog, and I don’t always include a citation for every statement I make.  (The former college student in me is enjoying just writing whatever I want without dealing with the whole citation/footnote thing).   But that being said, I know it’s important to make sure your information is coming from a legitimate source.  I don’t really expect you to believe the things I say on this site without some background information.

Most of the information that I’m passing on to you comes either from things I’ve learned in person from doctors, physical therapists, and other medical professionals, or from research I’ve done myself.

When I research things, I generally used trusted medical sites like the Mayo Clinic or the National Institutes of Health.  I have also read countless peer-reviewed articles which I was able to access through some of the medical and scientific databases I had access to either through my college (when I was still there) or those which I currently have access to thanks to my lovely public library.

If you are going to be researching your own health stuff, it’s important to know what a peer-reviewed article (also referred to as a scholarly or academic article) is.  It is an article written for a publication that requires all of the content it publishes to be read by a panel of experts in that same scientific field to check for accuracy.  If this panel of experts agrees that the research method used and assertions made in this article are valid and worthwhile to the scientific community, it will pass the test and be published.  This is different from the health and scientific articles you might find in a magazine sitting on a newsstand (commonly referred to as “popular science).  Non-peer-reviewed articles can be really interesting/inspiring, but if you were an actual scientist in a lab you would never in a million years base anything you did on an article you read in a magazine.   You would only be concerned with articles published in journals respected by your field.

The posts I write, such as “What causes chronic pain?” and “Names for chronic pain” are based largely off of the peer-reviewed articles I was lucky enough to be able to access.  I can’t pretend to be an academic or a scientist, but I can at least promise you that I have done my best to collect information from only legitimate sources.

If you are interested in reading some scholarly articles for yourself, I highly recommend you get a card at your local library (if you haven’t already) and see what medical databases you are able to access.  The reason I wrote “Names for chronic pain” is to give anyone reading this a list of possible search terms to find more information with.  There is also a small number of peer-reviewed articles available online for anyone to see.

On my “Resources” page I am also building a list of the specific books, online lectures, and articles (both peer-reviewed and not) that I have found useful over the years.  Hope this helps anyone who is trying to find more information.


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