Tag Archives: alternative-med

Massage Harmful for Atlantoaxial Instability

Atlantoaxial Instability: What Happened To My Barber? – by Paul Ingraham – Apr 2017

Either atlantoaxial instability or vertebrobasilar insufficiency causes severe dizziness and vomiting after massage therapy, with lessons for health care consumers.

My barber has this story: he had an incredibly severe negative reaction to the first and last massage he’d ever had.

This is similar to my experience when I received a wonderfully skilled massage to loosen the tight muscles in my neck and upper back. After leaving the office and driving partway home, a blinding headache forced me to pull over. I had to take extra pain medication and wait almost an hour for it to take effect before I could drive the rest of the way home.  Continue reading

Managing Pain Without Opioids Isn’t Fast Or Easy

No Quick Fix: Missouri Finds Managing Pain Without Opioids Isn’t Fast Or Easy | Kaiser Health NewsBy Lauren Weber – Feb 2020

I’m sure all pain patients taking opioids know this. The vast majority of us have already tried all the other modalities accessible to us. They are often inaccessible because so many lack the money and/or the time to pursue these “alternative” treatments.

Just as our pain is chronic, our treatments will have to be chronic as well, whether it be opioids or acupuncture.

The stubborn fact remains: opioids are effective and cheap for many types of pain and many individuals – a winning combination that’s hard to beat.

Missouri began offering chiropractic care, acupuncture, physical therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy for Medicaid patients in April, the latest state to try an alternative to opioids for those battling chronic pain.   Continue reading

Study finds essential oil improves wound healing

Chemical compound found in essential oils improves wound healing, IU study finds – Indiana University – Dec-2019

Many alternative medicine therapies seem implausible, hopelessly “woo-woo”, and have effects for only a few specific individuals. Yet, it’s possible that science just hasn’t advanced far enough to find the underlying explanations for them yet.

Every now and then, scientists discover how some “primitive” medicinal treatments used for thousands of years (poppies) actually has a scientific basis (poppies contain opium which binds to receptors on our cells to relieve pain),

Indiana University researchers have discovered that a chemical compound found in essential oils improves the healing process in mice when it is topically applied to a skin wound — a finding that could lead to improved treatments for skin injuries in humans.   Continue reading

Elite Hospitals Plunge Into Unproven Stem Cell Treatments

Elite Hospitals Plunge Into Unproven Stem Cell Treatments – By Liz Szabo – Apr 2019

The online video seems to promise everything an arthritis patient could want. Dr. Adam Pourcho extols the benefits of stem cells and “regenerative medicine” for healing joints without surgery.

It sickens me when some doctors go rogue like this – especially when it involves money and pain. That combination is the perfect engine for profit in our medical system:

  • medical procedures can cost as much as the “market” can bear and
  • the “market” consists of desperate pain patients who are no longer allowed their previously effective medications

In their suicidal desperation, these patients will agree to pay almost any amount to get relief from their unrelenting pain.  Continue reading

Mindfulness Research’s Huge Problem

Mindfulness research’s huge problem with uninformative control groupsby James C Coyne – June 2016

Are enthusiasts protecting cherished beliefs about the power of mindfulness from disconfirmation?

Do any advantages of mindfulness training disappear in a fairly matched cage fight with a treatment of comparable frequency and intensity?

Finally, a more thorough look at the research indicates that mindfulness is more a placebo response than a treatment. It makes no sense that it’s recommended by medical experts in the place of effective medication.  Continue reading

Reduce Inflammation and Pain through Diet – Really?

Reduce Inflammation and Pain through Diet – By Susan McQuillan, MS, RDN, CDN

I have my doubts about this, but it was published in a respected pain publication (https://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/) so I offer it here as just another thing to try. It makes sense that if your diet is really horrible your overall health will be negatively affected – and not just pain.

I’ve always been sort of a “health nut” and my diet is similar to what this article recommends, so I don’t know if a healthy diet can relieve any pain.  Even with my healthy diet, regular exercise, good sleep, and great friendships (good bio-psycho-social health) my pain can only be controlled by opioids.

This article was one of those annoying presentations where each point requires a click to a new webpage (and all its ads), so I’ve extracted the text for you in this single post. Continue reading

Evidence summary for non-opioid pain mgmt

Noninvasive Nonpharmacological Treatment for Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review –  a thorough 23-page PDF document from AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)

Scope and Key Questions

This Comparative Effectiveness Review focused on noninvasive nonpharmacological therapy, with a Key Question (KQ) for each of five common chronic pain conditions:

  • KQ 1: Chronic low back pain
  • KQ 2: Chronic neck pain
  • KQ 3: Osteoarthritis (knee, hip, hand)
  • KQ 4: Fibromyalgia
  • KQ 5: Chronic tension headache

Sadly, there’s no mention of pain caused by genetic disorders, like EDS or sickle cell.   Continue reading

Behind the AHRQ Review of Alt Therapies for Pain

Behind the AHRQ Report – By Richard A. Lawhern, PhD and Stephen E. Nadeau, MD – October 3, 2018

In the current restrictive regulatory climate that governs opioid analgesic therapy for chronic pain, there is much discussion of “alternative” therapies and “integrative medicine.”

Unfortunately for proponents of such measures, the state of medical evidence in trials literature is very weak, reflecting weaknesses of trial design, execution, and size.

This is perhaps unintentionally illustrated by a major systematic review released in June 2018 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), an agency of the US Health and Human Services Department.   Continue reading

Integrative Medicine Co-opts Pain Tx in Opioid Crisis

The effort of integrative medicine advocates to co-opt the opioid crisis to claim non-pharmacological treatments for pain as solely theirs continues apace – Science-Based Medicine – David Gorski on January 29, 2018

integrative medicine advocates are co-opting the opioid crisis as a “rationale” for integrating quackery into medicine for the treatment of chronic pain.

What we have here is an example of one of the most powerful forces promoting the “integration” of pseudoscience and quackery into medicine continuing to do so by, yes, taking advantage of the opioid crisis to present its unscientific, pseudoscientific, and mystical prescribed solutions to the crisis.   Continue reading

Alt Med – Risks of Untested and Unregulated Remedies

Alternative Medicine — The Risks of Untested and Unregulated Remedies – The New England Journal of Medicine – Marcia Angell, M.D. Jerome P. Kassirer, M.D

What is there about alternative medicine that sets it apart from ordinary medicine?

The term refers to a remarkably heterogeneous group of theories and practices — as disparate as homeopathy, therapeutic touch, imagery, and herbal medicine. What unites them?

It also constitutes a huge and rapidly growing industry, in which major pharmaceutical companies are now participating.   Continue reading