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Skeletal muscle regeneration with robotic actuation-mediated clearance of neutrophils

PainSci » bibliography » Seo et al 2021
Tags: massage, inflammation, muscle, bad science, manual therapy, treatment, pain problems, scientific medicine

Two articles on PainSci cite Seo 2021: 1. Chronic, Subtle, Systemic Inflammation2. Vibration Therapies, from Massage Guns to Jacuzzis

PainSci notes on Seo 2021:

This elaborate, technical study of massaging injured mouse muscles with a high doses of vibration purports to find evidence that massage is “antinflammatory” and “regenerative.” Importantly, no such clinical phenomenon is evident in humans. Public statements by the researchers are strongly hyperbolic and cast doubt on their competence. While some of the findings are intriguing, it’s extremely unlikely that they are replicable or clinically relevant in people. It is important to study and confirm the clinical effects of massage before doing complex animal research to try to explain how they work. This study is a classic example of a “fishing” expedition: a search for meaningful signals in a lot of complex data.

That’s the short take. For a truly detailed analysis, see “Robotic Mouse Massage: Is It ‘Regenerative’ and ‘Anti-Inflammatory’”?

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

Mechanical stimulation (mechanotherapy) can promote skeletal muscle repair, but a lack of reproducible protocols and mechanistic understanding of the relation between mechanical cues and tissue regeneration limit progress in this field. To address these gaps, we developed a robotic device equipped with real-time force control and compatible with ultrasound imaging for tissue strain analysis. We investigated the hypothesis that specific mechanical loading improves tissue repair by modulating inflammatory responses that regulate skeletal muscle regeneration. We report that cyclic compressive loading within a specific range of forces substantially improves functional recovery of severely injured muscle in mice. This improvement is attributable in part to rapid clearance of neutrophil populations and neutrophil-mediated factors, which otherwise may impede myogenesis. Insights from this work will help advance therapeutic strategies for tissue regeneration broadly.

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