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Biology: not amazing at everything

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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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 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 hilarious tweet highlights a Very True Thing about injury and recovery and pain:

If I could get some insight into just one of the many baffling phenomena in musculoskeletal medicine, this would be my pick, the puzzle I want solved more than any other: the mystery of these common, erratic troubles around old injury sites. What’s the mechanism for acute pain at an old injury site that hasn’t peeped in a month or a year? They often occur without any plausible source of on-going nociception (signalling from damaged tissues), sensitization, or relevant psychosocial factors.

I see this happen to my wife regularly. She broke her foot — among many other things — in a car accident in 2010. Last year she walked a couple hundred kilometres through the mountains of Japan … then came and home walks 10km/day all summer … then one night we’re out for a brief stroll and she suddenly starts limping badly. “Oh, just my broken foot bugging me.”

WTF, human body?

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