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How our understanding of osteoarthritis is evolving

 •  • 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.

Great mini-infographic from Dr. Howard Luks:

Simple infographic with an illustration of an arthritic knee in the middle and two text boxes on either side of it. The left side is titled “What we thought about the causes of arthritis” and the right “What we’re learning.” What we thought is: “wear and tear, cumulative force, injury.” What we’re learning is: “metabolic syndrome, lipid abnormalities, obesity-related inflammation, increased weight, wear & tear, injury, cumulative force, uric acid.”

The gist here is basically that osteoarthritis is much more about biochemistry than “wear and tear” (though of course loading is still relevant). With apologies to Indiana Jones, it’s not the years or the mileage — it’s the biological context!

One interesting detail that I think is missing: inflammation from infections. But that’s a topic for another day (when I have a bunch more time).

Dr. Howard Luks is active on Twitter, and also blogs a lot. I recently heard an interview with him and agreed with every word he said. That does not happen very often in this business! 😜

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