Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Another entry in the Public Address Medical Journal

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  • Islander,

    O Giovanni, you disappoint me - despite all the opinion Ross has brought to the table, you're still going with - evidence??

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    That's obviously the smart thing to do.

    Nice.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Because the underlying mechanism of the distressing symptoms isn't properly understood, some Skeptics decided that it was therefore an hysterical affliction or a silly name for "cramp".

    Even if it were cramp or, hell, even a hysterical thing, it shaved a year off her life and the quack cured it, so we're pretty happy.

    I used to work nights at a BNZ data processing centre and it was full of hysterical people, one of whom several years from the original injury could no longer lift her arms above the level of her shoulders. Fortunately I came in after the bank had introduced exercises and micro-pauses so I was spared from contracting this psychological disease.

    (I'm glad that this arrogance is by and large not shared by the doctors themselves.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    a major Jacko moment

    or two
    PYT such a great beat
    and digging out Thriller bought in a sale with bonus tracks of demo's & Quincy and others talking about the making of.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I used to work nights at a BNZ data processing centre and it was full of hysterical people, one of whom several years from the original injury could no longer lift her arms above the level of her shoulders.

    This reminds me of a first year paper I did at Waikato Uni called "The Computing Experience". One of the first lectures was on preventing RSI. The lecturerer told us these horror stories of The Man Who Did Not Take Breaks and The Woman Who Typed Too Much.

    The best tale was of a computer genius fellow who ended up with such bad RSI that he couldn't type with his hands any more. So he was set up with some sort of eyeball control device but used that so much that he got RSI in his eyeballs.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    Take care Russell,

    I know from first hand experience some of what you have been going through and feel lucky to have been put on some preventative medicine early in the cycle.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 368 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Because the underlying mechanism of the distressing symptoms isn't properly understood, some Skeptics decided that it was therefore an hysterical affliction or a silly name for "cramp".

    And I thought my inability to write with a pen for more than five minutes meant something was wrong.

    The trouble with the Skeptics is that they are just as dogmatic as the Believers. They are authoritarians, who won't entertain any idea unless somebody important tells them to believe it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I don't want to be beating up on Ross, so it's probably worth noting that while the conventional medical research on osteopathy isn't white we might like it to be, it's not insignificant either. It's certainly enough to allow me to think I'm not imagining a benefit.

    It is quite widely accepted: ACC, private insurers etc -- and four universities in Australia offer clinical courses. We're not talking about, say, colour therapy here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    My sympathy goes to you Russell, it sounds like an awful experience and yet you've turned it into a source of learning and writing.

    There really aren't all that many conventional options for resolving chronic back pain

    As someone who has suffered (lying on the ground screaming and crying) acute and chronic back pain I can seriously recommend yoga. Sadly it isn't a 2 week miracle cure but over 2 years I gained strength in my back and flexibility that I never had before. BUT you have to find an instructor that doesn't drive you crazy they are all very very different in style (singing and ringing chimes didn't do it for me :)) and never ever do something that hurts just because someone else makes it look easy.

    Regarding Osteopaths: I'm a skeptic. If your GP suggests an osteopath might help, fine. Where I have issues is where people choose to ignore the GPs first and go straight to the osteopath. GPs get training and experience in diagnosis that can identify things an osteo (or a physio) shouldn't touch. However, in the end it's your dime and if it makes you feel better fine.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • buzzy,

    "At this point, I regret to inform you that I was not my usual reasonable and polite self"

    Damn straight. I've come out of surgery before and been in the worst possible mood from the moment my eyes opened. Apparently that kind of reaction is not uncommon, and the nurses in recovery have to put up with a lot of angry, unreasonable people who've just woken up.

    The kicker is that it's nigh-on impossible to go back afterwards and apologise for your behaviour.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    It's certainly enough to allow me to think I'm not imagining a benefit.

    Hell, an imagined benefit is better than no benefit. The placebo effect is a real phenomenon. If standard medical care can't find the source of chronic pain or treat it effectively, then it's legitimate to depart from double-blind randomised trial territory and find out what works for you.

    The thing is to make sure that providers of more, ah, subjective care know how to spot problems that there are effective treatments for, and quickly refer them in the appropriate direction. And that they don't make claims that aren't substantiated by research.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    The kicker is that it's nigh-on impossible to go back afterwards and apologise for your behaviour.

    I don't think so. I popped in to floor 8 at Ak Hospital and from there visited all those who took care of me and thanked everyone I found. If you explain your purpose for your visit, someone will help you to get around the place.
    Also, as an aside, I was chatting to a friend of mine this morn and he was just popping off to do a few ops.
    His regular work is gall and kidney stones. He's got a hospital. He agreed that Russell would have had laparoscopic surgery to remove said kidney stones.he said they sort of pulverise them often making them small enough to pass or if not they just remove them. He said gall stones are very common. When I asked what they do with them (due to a previous query further upthread) he said his hospital gives them to the patient. Apparently(his words) they can be quite cute, and the ones that look like pyramids were really cute. Go figure. I did say to him that only a surgeon would think like this. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Just to divert the conversation away from medical matters, for a moment. I made tamarillo chutney yesterday, using your recipe Sofie. Very tasty. Used the very last of the fruit off our large tree, which I hope will survive the frost battering of the past couple of weeks.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2558 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Just to divert the conversation away from medical matters, for a moment. I made tamarillo chutney yesterday, using your recipe Sofie. Very tasty. Used the very last of the fruit off our large tree, which I hope will survive the frost battering of the past couple of weeks.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2558 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I made tamarillo chutney yesterday,

    I made a second batch Saturday (promised Jackie Clark) but also added sultanas and will use similar recipe changing fruits according to season. I figured it should work for fruit or veg with less sugar.
    Glad it was acceptable to your palette.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    oops, palate :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I made a second batch Saturday (promised Jackie Clark) but also added sultanas and will use similar recipe changing fruits according to season.

    Oh man, Ms Sofie makes a mean chutney.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    mean chutney.

    I'll take mean to mean good.
    Forgot to mention, My friend (the laparoscopic Surgeon) said stones are nothing compared to child birth :) and this person is a man.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Maybe the laproscopic surgeon should talk to my rellie! She's done both!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    B. Jones : "Hell, an imagined benefit is better than no benefit. The placebo effect is a real phenomenon. If standard medical care can't find the source of chronic pain or treat it effectively, then it's legitimate to depart from double-blind randomised trial territory and find out what works for you. "

    Russell said: "It is quite widely accepted: ACC, private insurers etc -- and four universities in Australia offer clinical courses."

    And London(?) University has a degree in Astrology. NZ Universities sell MBAs. Hmmmm.

    Posted last night on Arts and Letters Daily

    http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/09-05-20#feature

    And sucked form the document is this list:

    "We not only know placebos “work,” we know there is a hierarchy of effectiveness:

    Placebo surgery works better than placebo injections
    Placebo injections work better than placebo pills
    Sham acupuncture treatment works better than a placebo pill
    Capsules work better than tablets
    Big pills work better than small
    The more doses a day, the better
    The more expensive, the better
    The color of the pill makes a difference
    Telling the patient, “This will relieve your pain” works better than saying “This might help.”

    As someone else said. "It's your dime."

    Psst: I do good deals in Magnetic Blankets too! The shysters who peddle those should be shot.

    Late News: Lets put "Rational Thought" into the primary school curriculum. Make it compulsory, test it and don't let anyone continue their education until they achieve a pass.

    I'm all for Carl Sagan's Bullshit Detector to be turned on in as many people as possible.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    She's done both!

    Ah, but with all due respect to his wife and four kids, he may feel like he's done both. :) Plus as I said earlier, only a Surgeon would find the stones cute and not the Rollings Stones, he's more of the Bowie, Pink Floyd type (hey, is this the wrong thread?)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I'm all for Carl Sagan's Bullshit Detector to be turned on in as many people as possible.

    Very good, let's start with you. The fact that you don't understand how something works, doesn't mean that it can't work or that it won't work.

    A wise head on these boards recently counselled me to appraoch a certain problem by seeking only evidence-based treatments. And that, from a rational standpoint, is really all you need to know. Is something known to work? Who cares that we can't quite understand the mechanisms? There are a ton of drugs that have been found to cure diseases other than those for which they were developed, and in ways that we cannot quite explain yet. But it doesn't stop doctors from prescribing them, on account of the fact that they, you know, cure people.

    You never responded to the example I gave you of my partner, anyhow. Should she stick to the physio, whose discipline is based on rational and understandble principles, but can't solve her problems, or the osteopath, whose practice is based on a ludicrous theory, but works?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Russell said: "It is quite widely accepted: ACC, private insurers etc -- and four universities in Australia offer clinical courses."

    And London(?) University has a degree in Astrology. NZ Universities sell MBAs. Hmmmm.

    Clearly Ross, I am not going to lure you into any second thoughts as to your judgement that I am a gullible fool, but here's a meta-analysis that found evidence to support the idea that osteopathic treatment reduced back pain, from the US National Institute of Healh website:

    Results

    Overall, OMT significantly reduced low back pain (effect size, -0.30; 95% confidence interval, -0.47 – -0.13; P = .001). Stratified analyses demonstrated significant pain reductions in trials of OMT vs active treatment or placebo control and OMT vs no treatment control. There were significant pain reductions with OMT regardless of whether trials were performed in the United Kingdom or the United States. Significant pain reductions were also observed during short-, intermediate-, and long-term follow-up.

    Conclusion

    OMT significantly reduces low back pain. The level of pain reduction is greater than expected from placebo effects alone and persists for at least three months. Additional research is warranted to elucidate mechanistically how OMT exerts its effects, to determine if OMT benefits are long lasting, and to assess the cost-effectiveness of OMT as a complementary treatment for low back pain.

    And ...

    Late News: Lets put "Rational Thought" into the primary school curriculum. Make it compulsory, test it and don't let anyone continue their education until they achieve a pass.

    Do you think you could be any more patronising Ross? Is not possible that I actually derive benefit from the treatment, rather than simply being a dullard? And that I have thought about this? Or is it more important that you hold fast to your view than actually think about what I said?

    I might also note that copped a link from the website of a "skeptic" who insists that anthropogenic climate change is a government hoax ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    You never responded to the example I gave you of my partner, anyhow.

    He also skipped gaily past the part about how ACC and health insurance companies fund it ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    @giovanni:

    you just don't understand, giovanni. anyone who seeks and receives effective treatment from someone that mr. mason does not approve of is an idiot, a dupe, someone who deserves to lose their money, blah, blah, because they are unable to detect bullshit when they see it. anything not approved by mr. mason is a placebo, see? because he said so. because he is the Master Bullshit Detector-General (tm). no need to argue. he knows. knowlegde bro, natch.

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

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