You can “win” the battle with an infection and still lose the war, suffering for long after, because some pathogens pollute our biology in a way that does lasting harm. For instance, the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria causes Lyme disease, but many people continue to struggle even when all the burgo-bastards are dead — a previously unexplained phenomenon called post-Lyme disease syndrome. The cause is probably a lingering molecule produced by the bacteria during their campaign.
Borrelia burgdorferi — tiny spiral joint-poisoning demons.
If correct, then this study has not only solved one of the gnarliest puzzles in medicine — truly a big deal — but also demonstrateed an important general principle: immunity is a double-edged sword with many, many complications that are impossible to guess. If this can happen, and avoid detection for decades, you can be damn sure there’s more like it. •shudder•
So let’s add this to the long list of chronic pain causes that are definitely not “all in your head” in any way whatsoever.