Tag Archives: alternative-med

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

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