Tag Archives: alternative-med

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

No benefit from integrative treatments at VA

Hypothesized benefit from integrative treatments for veterans’ chronic pain fails to materialize – Jann Bellamy on April 12, 2018

A recent review of thousands of Veterans Administration (VA) medical records concluded that there was no significant difference in self-rated pain intensity between veterans who received complementary and integrative healthcare treatments (chiropractic care, acupuncture or massage) and those who did not.

This calls into question the both theVA’s aggressive campaign to incorporate integrative medicine into veterans’ healthcare and the promotion of integrative treatments as a solution to the opioid crisis.   Continue reading

Integrative Medicine’s War on Pain and Science

Integrative Medicine’s War on Pain and Science Comes To The Hospital – By Chuck Dinerstein — May 11, 2018

The war against opioids has come to the hospital as a new study suggests that integrative medicine is an effective pain agent and will save money!

The study looked at 2,730 patients referred during their hospitalization to the integrative medicine pain management program; roughly 5% of their admissions during a three year period. The primary outcome was pain reduction at the first IM session; cost savings were a secondary outcome.  Continue reading

‘Pilot studies’ of alt-medicine: unethical and harmful

‘Pilot studies’ of alternative medicine: incompetent, unethical, misleading and harmful – Apr 4 – by Edzard Ernst

During the last 25 years, my research focussed on the critical evaluation of all aspects of alternative medicine. I do not aim to promote this or that therapy or profession, my goal is to provide objective evidence and reliable information

I have noticed a proliferation of so-called pilot studies of alternative therapies.  

In today’s anti-opioid climate, any non-opioid “treatment” for pain, is accepted uncritically, even if it’s only slightly effective for a few people, is promoted as “fighting the opioid crisis” (which is actually an “addiction crisis”)   Continue reading

Do capsaicin creams really work?

Molecular Level Answers: Do capsaicin creams really work? – by Holly Phaneuf Erskine

Even without taste buds, red pepper would still burn your mouth.

When you eat red pepper, you do not actually taste capsaicin with your taste buds. Like other oil-soluble, small molecules, it has the ability to penetrate tissues.

It slowly moves through tissues in your mouth, to trigger deeper nerves, and the classic burning sensation slowly grows.

Paradoxically, it relieves pain, but it isn’t your usual counterirritant.   Continue reading

Do Alternatives to Opioids Really Exist?

Do Alternatives to Opioids Really Exist? – By Richard A. Lawhern & Michael E. Schatman February 16, 2018

A recent article for MC/Opinion proclaimed that “Alternatives to Opioids Do Exist – We Just Need to Use Them.”  

However, is this assertion supported by medical evidence? We suggest this is not currently the case.

It is constantly repeated in public media that “more Americans were killed in 2015 from drug overdoses than from car accidents and gun homicides combined.” But what drugs?   Continue reading

Yoga is not a panacea

Yoga, Meditation and Mind-Body Health: Increased BDNF, Cortisol Awakening Response, and Altered Inflammatory Marker Expression after a 3-Month Yoga… – PubMed – NCBI – Jun 2017

Thirty-eight individuals (mean age: 34.8 years old) participating in a 3-month yoga and meditation retreat were assessed before and after the intervention for psychometric measures, brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), circadian salivary cortisol levels, and pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines

Participation in the retreat was found to be associated with decreases in self-reported anxiety and depression as well as increases in mindfulness.   Continue reading

FDA Asks, Gets Answers, Pain Patients not Involved

FDA Asks, Gets Answers on Reducing Opioid Epidemic – Pain Medicine News – Oct 2017 – Kenneth Bender

The prevalence and consequences of opioid use disorder can be reduced without preventing patients with pain from receiving necessary opioid analgesics, according to a consensus report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine requested by the FDA.

Perhaps it can be, but it certainly is not.

Once again, the fate of pain patients is being decided by people who don’t understand the cruel waste of a life devastated by chronic pain.   Continue reading