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Doubting doubts

 •  • 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.

Many people have complained that my article about the sketchiness of trigger point science undermines the integrity and value of my book about trigger points. I’ve had people tell me they refuse to buy my book because “apparently you can’t make up your mind” or because they feel “betrayed” by my doubts. One reader pointed out that the only negative “review” he could find of my book was written by … me!

There’s no doubt it’s unusual, but I think questioning key points in my own book increases its value and integrity. Regardless, it’s clear that many people are disoriented by my “doubts” article, so I’ve (reluctantly) added this disclaimer to the introduction:

We know something is going on, and it is often labelled “trigger point” pain, wisely or unwisely. No one doubts that: not me, not the harshest skeptics, not anyone. What is in doubt is the explanation, the nature of the beast. Although this might seem to contradict the purpose of my book, it does not: armchair speculation about the biology of trigger points should not discourage anyone from rational exploration of their treatment options. The purpose of this article is to address the reasonable and fair questions of skeptics about the science of trigger points. In any case, I do not conclude or condemn anything at this time — I just question and consider. I hope readers will respect the fact that I’m willing to ask the tough questions, even if they aren’t superficially good for my bottom line.

P.S. I updated this article substantially in January. If you haven’t looked at it recently, it’s changed. There’s also a freshly updated audio version of it.

PainSci Member Login » Submit your email to unlock member content. If you can’t remember/access your registration email, please contact me. ~ Paul Ingraham, PainSci Publisher