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Somatic dysfunction: the life of a concept 

Somatic dysfunction: the life of a concept
Somatic dysfunction: the life of a concept

Rod MacDonald

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date: 05 March 2021

Often a treatment is used because its benefit is plausibly predicted by science and then assumed, or because healthcare providers are pressured to respond to a person's need even when they have no proven response available. Also, those with a professional or financial commitment to a treatment may be biased towards providing it. Among these complexities, the choice between various treatments depends on both the needs of society and also the acceptance of the concepts different professions use both to make sense of the illnesses they encounter and also to justify the therapies they use. This chapter considers the progress of treatments for musculoskeletal pain and impairment in the UK over 150 years, related to their underlying concepts and the groups in which they originated. These stories of discoveries, rivalries, wasted resources, and avoidable suffering may stimulate aspiration to develop better ways for scientific medicine to progress.

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