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Intelligent rabbit massage

 •  • 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.

Animal studies don’t come up all that often in my work days, and I find them rather macabre. In a Chinese bunny study by Hou et al, rabbits were injured, and then some of them received a lot of daily automated massage during recovery, from — I love this bit — an “intelligent massage device.” Their tissues were put under a microscope before and after, and apparently “histomorphology and cytoskeletal structure can be significantly improved after massage, which may help to repair muscle injury by up-regulation of Desmin and alpha-Actin expressions.” Hmm. Okay. Any study of tissue involves substantial complexities of observation and interpretation, and so it’s basically impossible to know whether the experiment was actually conducted competently and its results are trustworthy, unless other researchers do the same thing and get similar results. But it’s interesting, and promising, and consistent with the fairly sensible notion that moderate stimulation helps tissues recover from damage.

“[Promoting effect of massage on quadriceps femoris repair of rabbit in vivo]”
Hou et al. Zhongguo Xiu Fu Chong Jian Wai Ke Za Zhi. Volume 26, Number 3, 346–51. Mar 2012.