Biology: not amazing at everything
This hilarious tweet highlights a Very True Thing about injury and recovery and pain:
HUMAN BODY: I can grow a fully formed human baby in like 9 months. I'm talking brain, functioning respiratory system, eyeballs, everything.— Nathan Usher (@thenatewolf) February 20, 2018
ME: Cool, cool. How long will it take for my twisted ankle to feel better?
HUMAN BODY: 7 years and it will never be the same.
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?