The article gets a little bit technical, but it' s still easy to read if you pass over some of the mumbo-jumbo.
The bottom line is this: Pain is a perception in the brain. In order for the brain to perceive a pain signal it has to travel from the joint (in the case of arthritis) or site of damaged tissue, over nerves and into the spinal cord...then up to the brain. The nerves that carry the pain signal appear to become more sensitive to pain signals the more they carry them (a survival instinct).
In addition, the nerves appear to carry inflammation to the spinal cord which can find it' s way to other joints in the body causing even more arthritis (inflammation of a joint).
Very interesting stuff. Now of course since this is a medical website...the solution is a potential drug that can block this process. But from a chiropractic point of view...this is old news. I have always known this process occurs and refer to it as "axoplasmic transportation"...whereby chemicals from a distal site of injury travel over the nerve to the spinal cord predisposing the spinal joints and connecting nerves to injury and inflammation.
Because of my extensive work with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), I know first hand that inflammation from the hand can travel to the neck....and inflammation from the neck can travel to the hand. This is called " double crush syndrome". The reason we are so successful treating CTS and related disorders is because we treat the neck to fingers on both sides...on everyone...and usually the rest of the spine also (think about how this ties into this study).
Anyway...I don' t think we need to figure out new drugs to treat these problems...we need to figure out how to (teach people) maintain a healthy context to minimize inflammation....which can trigger more inflammation.
Proper spinal care and alignment can also help reduce the transmission of inflammation and toxic chemicals from damaged tissue through the spine.
We don' t need to over-think this...just eat right (preferably plant foods), exercise, use proper ergonomics, get plenty of good sleep, stay away from drugs, alcohol, and tobacco...and get your spine adjusted on a regular basis...Thats my prescription.
Well...this is good stuff...I hope you found it interesting.