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Old 07-18-2014, 11:04 AM
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There's a timely article out today on Respectful Insolence regarding the pro-chiropractic meme that the Journal of the American Medical Association has endorsed chiropractic treatment of low back pain as a first-line option. It turns out that the one mention of chiropractic in the article is considerably less effusive than what chiros are claiming:

"Many treatments are available for low back pain. Often exercises and physical therapy can help. Some people benefit from chiropractic therapy or acupuncture. Sometimes medications are needed, including analgesics (painkillers) or medications that reduce inflammation. Surgery is not usually needed but may be considered if other therapies have failed. "

Gee, what a ringing endorsement.

This follows a pattern of chiros making misleading statements about research and journal articles that are touted as supporting their claims. Such articles typically appear in chiro journals, involve case studies or small patient populations with limited followup and their conclusions are misrepresented.*

*one such study is used to claim that chiro neck manipulation is effective in relieving hypertension. The study (in a chiro journal) involved relatively few participants who were studied short-term, and moreover involved a specialized technique which is not used by chiros in general practice. As to what mysterious physiologic mechanism is involved in lowering blood pressure through neck cracking, well, that remains a mystery.
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
[i]"Many treatments are available for low back pain. Often exercises and physical therapy can help. Some people benefit from chiropractic therapy or acupuncture.
That is actually quite astounding to me. When did this happen? Acupuncture? Seriously?

I can see the eventual caving over Chiropractic, since there is no doubt possible benefits, but acupuncture? Wtf?
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:23 AM
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That is actually quite astounding to me. When did this happen? Acupuncture? Seriously?
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?...ture+treatment

There have been lots of studies and some promising findings. Also, many claims have not proven to be useful.
  #54  
Old 07-18-2014, 02:44 PM
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That is actually quite astounding to me. When did this happen? Acupuncture? Seriously?
For chronic low back pain, there's a Cochrane review supporting some efficacy compared to no treatment at all (the general phenomenon of laying on of hands being beneficial may be at work). Overall benefit seems to be small, and no more than other modalities.
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Old 07-19-2014, 07:38 AM
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Since we're talking about accupuncture, here's links to a couple of columns that Cecil has written about it -

From 1984:

Do "auto-acupressure" and acupunture work?

Which concludes that it might be worth studying but had yet to be proven.


The second column, from 2000 is even less encouraging.

Does acupuncture really work?
Quote:
Acupuncture enthusiasts say it will cure everything from cholera to overbite, but few of these claims can be taken seriously. Acupuncture is widely used to treat addiction, for example, but there's little solid evidence it does any good.

It's not even clear acupuncture is effective in treating pain, its most basic use. Acupuncture isn't routinely used as an anesthesia substitute in China; reports to the contrary in the early 70s were based on observation of surgical patients who'd been selected for high pain tolerance and who in at least some cases were secretly given morphine. At best acupuncture can be said to alleviate rather than eliminate pain, and even then we don't know whether it's blocking the pain pathway or simply having a placebo effect.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:34 AM
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I know a few people -- Westerners and Asians alike -- who swear they have received some level of real benefit from acupuncture. I don't like arguing with them about it, but I suspect it may be a placebo effect.
  #57  
Old 07-20-2014, 02:14 PM
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I'm actually kind of wondering if Martymer81 ever ran Chopra through the "30-second stupid test"; I wonder if he'd break SpiritScience's record of 11.
Um, what?

Quote:
He invited Mike Fucking Adams to do a segment on toxicity.
That's an unusual middle name.

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then you're running afoul of Scopie's General Law
Um, what?
  #58  
Old 07-20-2014, 02:37 PM
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Topiramate (Topamax) was never approved for weight loss. Was it? I know it's an anti-seizure medication prescribed to epileptics and it's used 'off-label' for migraine prevention (that's why I take it). But as far as I knew, it had too many side effects to be considered a safe weight loss drug, even by prescription. Did something change? (I do know it was originally developed as a weight loss drug but was never approved as such.)
Currently available as a combination product (phentermine and topiramate extended-release), Qsymia, approved in July 2012.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:55 PM
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Um, what?



That's an unusual middle name.



Um, what?
Hmm, need to work on communicating more clearly. The 30-second stupid test involves taking a 30-second clip from a person and then counting the number of things they get wrong and the number of statements that are just flat-out dumb.

I refer to him as Mike Fucking Adams to emphasize the point that this person is really really really dumb.

Scopie's General Law is a thing I kinda made up, described as the generalization of Scopie's Law, right after the statement:
"because you took this person/idea/claim/website seriously, your critical thinking faculties are clearly so woefully compromised you that you do not deserve to be taken seriously until you explicitly repudiate that position and do a hell of a lot of work showing us that you're willing and able to actually think again"
  #60  
Old 07-21-2014, 08:11 AM
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I recently transcribed an interview with a drug counselor who swears by acupuncture as a way to get a client to detox from opioids instantly. Of course, the client is also receiving Suboxone or methadone at the same time, so I'm inclined to think that it's more the Suboxone or methadone than it is the acupuncture. In fact, the one client who had a miracle cure from the acupuncture never came back for follow-up care, so it's unknown whether the guy stayed clean, found some other support group, or what.

I've also worked on a project involving something called the Emotional Freedom Technique, which involves "tapping" on various points along the upper body. During each tapping session, the person uses certain statements that follow the formula "Even though I have this problem, I deeply and completely accept myself". The project involved EFT applied to weight loss, and if someone does this instead of eating a candy bar, then it's done something positive for that person. There is no empirical evidence that this works, but some people may find it soothing enough to prevent impulsive behavior due to emotional stress. All the same, I wouldn't rely on this as a substitute for evidence-based therapy with a competent counselor.

I'm now very clear that I don't take on projects involving SCAM therapies. It's more important that I be able to look at myself in the mirror.
  #61  
Old 07-30-2014, 08:48 AM
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Since the OP cited a "lot of research" supposedly validating chiropractic treatments, it might be of interest to note that there's a new "study" claiming that chiropractic adjustments are good for treating autism - at least, if you can hold the kids down long enough.

"For the cervical group, these chiropractors were taking a plunger, sticking it between the mastoid process right near the ear and the back part of the mandible and hitting it to “impart energy,” all accompanied by unnecessary radiation exposure and trauma of being held down in order to obtain completely unnecessary X-rays of the cervical spine."

The article describing this latest travesty provides a good example of what passes for research in the chiro world.
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