Author Topic: Were any of these therapies I just received not pseudoscientific? (Low back pain  (Read 1120 times)

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Offline God Bomb

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Just to clarify the electric suction cup wasn't really cupping.  The suction cup just held it in place while they passed an electric current into the skin.  But it wasn't like those pulsed currents that make the muscle flex, it was just a constant tingling.  I don't even know what this is called.
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Offline The Latinist

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Just to clarify the electric suction cup wasn't really cupping.  The suction cup just held it in place while they passed an electric current into the skin.  But it wasn't like those pulsed currents that make the muscle flex, it was just a constant tingling.  I don't even know what this is called.

Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation (TENS).  I understand that it helps mask pain while it's applied (though the evidence is mixed), but I'm pretty sure its use to promote healing is BS.
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Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Just to clarify the electric suction cup wasn't really cupping.  The suction cup just held it in place while they passed an electric current into the skin.  But it wasn't like those pulsed currents that make the muscle flex, it was just a constant tingling.  I don't even know what this is called.

Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation (TENS).  I understand that it helps mask pain while it's applied (though the evidence is mixed), but I'm pretty sure its use to promote healing is BS.
It helps promote healing only to the extent that the patient feels less pain and thus less stress...

They put one on my and I convulsed. Not what they were expecting.
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Online HanEyeAm

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What was the condition being treated? LBP is a reimbursable diagnosis by itself I think but the validity of a treatment is condition-specific, e.g., sprain, herniated disc, radiculopathy, etc.  So are we talking neuropathic pain, inflammation, muscle soreness, etc.? I don't know the answer regarding these treatments, but my thinking starts there.

I can't imagine why all those treatments in a session would be appropriate, unless they were able to bill each one separately, in which case perhaps they were quite motivated to find reasons.

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Online HanEyeAm

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The VA had an "alternative medicine" clinic at their Danville, ILL., facility back in the '90s. Don't know if they still have it, but no other facility that I've been to offered such "treatment". I agreed to talk to the "doctors" there, basically to shut up my PC . I guess he had to push it because he was told to do so. The chiroquackter wanted to try some "adjustments", I said no. He said, "okay, let me test your tension." Then he twisted my spine. I advised him his child-producing days were over if he tried that again. I also let the accupuncturist have a go, because I knew it was harmless, just irritating.  I didn't go back.

VA has a new push for offering CAM treatments for chronic pain. Opioids are too dangerous and providers are desperate to find ways to offer relief.

VA research funding is helping contribute (or refuting) the evidence base of new treatments.

Some are a bit hokey, IMO, but many are wellness-based and (generally) at worst wastes the patient's time and even if doesn't help the pain may improve well-being. Common ones are TENS, yoga, Qi Gong, accupuncture, tai chi, music therapy, relaxation... Treatments are interdisciplinary, involving MDs, psychologists, and a variety of therapists and sometimes chiropractors. I think the interdisciplinary approach helps minimize the introduction of fringe treatment approaches. Not to say there is great research on this stuff, but it is getting better and patients seem to feel supported and aren't ODing/selling/getting hooked on opioids when engaged.


Offline God Bomb

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What was the condition being treated? LBP is a reimbursable diagnosis by itself I think but the validity of a treatment is condition-specific, e.g., sprain, herniated disc, radiculopathy, etc.  So are we talking neuropathic pain, inflammation, muscle soreness, etc.? I don't know the answer regarding these treatments, but my thinking starts there.

I can't imagine why all those treatments in a session would be appropriate, unless they were able to bill each one separately, in which case perhaps they were quite motivated to find reasons.

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You're implying that I actually got a diagnosis
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Online HanEyeAm

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What was the condition being treated? LBP is a reimbursable diagnosis by itself I think but the validity of a treatment is condition-specific, e.g., sprain, herniated disc, radiculopathy, etc.  So are we talking neuropathic pain, inflammation, muscle soreness, etc.? I don't know the answer regarding these treatments, but my thinking starts there.

I can't imagine why all those treatments in a session would be appropriate, unless they were able to bill each one separately, in which case perhaps they were quite motivated to find reasons.

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You're implying that I actually got a diagnosis
You mentioned that you presented with "spine pain". In a standard medical clinic a diagnosis is part of the encounter, usually an ICD code in the medical billing world. They can reflect a specific disease (eg, dementia) or presenting problem (eg, memory loss).

In a non-standard clinic I imagine the practitioner is still taking clinical notes that include some mention of the problem being treated, eg, "chakras misaligned; wallet too full."

Each to their own, but I would want the best evaluation medicine could provide before considering alternative treatment options. I've never heard of myelopathy, spinal tumor, osteomyelitis, etc. being identified or treated by any alternative medicine approach, and if you're  only treating the pain, the disease could get worse.

So that is a possible scenario: not implying that is your situation.

Offline The Latinist

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I think we should go back to calling lower back pain lumbago.  "My lumbago is acting up" sounds much cooler than "my lower back hurts."
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline RGU

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The infrared heat therapy is the only one that sounds like it could be useful. I know how heat helps, however I am not familiar with infrared heat.
Heat, however is not good for inflammation, cold is but only at the beginning of an injury.
As I understand it, and have used it, is.... cold to reduce blood flow and reduce inflammation. heat to increase blood-flow and warm up the muscles. I do not know if heat works on anything other than muscles.
Basically after the first couple days of an injury you just use whichever makes you feel better as neither do much, however I use the heat to loosen the muscle and help warm it prior to stretching, etc.

Spinal manipulation, I have had it done - it felt good sometimes, you know like when you crack your back. Not sure if it did much else. What did help a lot was the chiropractor was in sports medicine and stretched me out and did some Myofascial Release on my muscles.
And then of course I was doing rehab exercises to build up the weak muscles. In the end, I think it was the stretching and exercise that corrected my issue (Piriformis pain)

 

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