It appears injury and repair are both the yin and yang of healing. Injury may be necessary for nerve regeneration to occur, at least in mice. Talk about neural learning! So injuries (from a neurological perspective) may be a good thing! Perhaps this is why dry needling, intramuscular therapy and acupuncture work so well for these conditions. Perhaps Karl Lewit was right (and if you have attended one of my lectures, you know what I am talking about).
A protein abbreviated DLK (which stands for dual leucine zipper kinase) apparently is necessary to activate nerve regeneration after an injury.
“DLK is a key molecule linking an injury to the nerve’s response to that injury, allowing the nerve to regenerate,” says Aaron DiAntonio, MD, PhD, professor of developmental biology. “How does an injured nerve know that it is injured? How does it take that information and turn on a regenerative program and regrow connections? And why does only the peripheral nervous system respond this way, while the central nervous system does not? We think DLK is part of the answer.”
Most injuries have a neurological component, whether it be the inflammatory process, a change in muscle tone or activity, the perception of pain or proprioceptive abnormality. If this mechanism is not triggered, the nervous system may not heal. This may provide clues as to why nerve injuries heal so slowly or are less responsive. Learning more about this protein may provide clues and answers to this commonly encountered dilemma.
So, the collateral damage created when we needle has a purpose, and shutting down that mechanism will probably interfere with the healing process. Food for thought...
Keep on needling
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