There is also the question of scar tissue, which forms following an injury and may be left intact when a patient remains inactive or restricts certain movements because of injury-related pain. Nerves are not immune to scarring, even when the surrounding tissue is damaged. In fact, this could explain why an individual might experience pain long after an injury has otherwise healed: the leftover scar tissue may continue to affect nearby nerves and axons by limiting their normal movements.
"There are a lot of unanswered questions about why what chiropractors are doing is working or not working," Dr. Bove says. "All this pain research is directly relevant to what chiropractors do."