Saturday, January 11, 2020

Another unfortunate trivialization

In a long thread on Facebook that involved deconstruction of "myofascial pain" appeared a reference to "non-neural practitioners."

I replied as follows:

I would respectfully ask, how would one define "non-neural practitioners"? 
Re: "myofascial pain": true insofar it appears in the literature all the time (along with "muscle pain"); AND does NOTHING to de-confuse pain from pain science or help practitioners understand distinct differences between nervous system sensitivity and ordinary tissue insensitivity or enlighten us about how there are 45 miles/72 kilometers of potentially sensitizable neural tissue running throughout the entire otherwise insensate human body.
It's really annoying that the deeper you go into (biomedical) research the more things like this have been conflated.
Defending "myofascial pain" as a construct for thinking is really about throwing a big thick wet blanket of ignorance over all sparks of curiosity or ability to start differentiating the (what...300?) different kinds of tissues there are, 150 actual neuron types, let alone figure out how any physical mammal/primate/human all works as a self-organizing and self-sustaining entity that is not monolithic, or being able to see humans, being, as verbs, not nouns, or our work as being interaction with the most complex self-organizing structure in the known universe, not mere pushing around on stretchy ambulatory anatomy corpses.
Being uncertain and embracing uncertainty is one thing, but not standing up to the spread of wilful or even unwitting ignorance is a total other thing.
"Myofascial pain" is yet another one of those "unfortunate trivializations" that Patrick Wall talked about. Maybe it arose because of the perceived need to save as much space as possible in science papers restricted to 5 pages. But it sure made a fucking mess of everything.

Blogpost (2014): What Patrick Wall said about the relationship of nociception to pain.
The paper:
The citation: Wall, P. D., & McMahon, S. B. (1986). The relationship of perceived pain to afferent nerve impulses. Trends in Neurosciences, 9(6), 254–255.

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