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(Some Rational Guy)   Trying to figure out which pseudoscientific alternative therapy is right for you? This flowchart may help you out   (crispian-jago.blogspot.com) divider line 95
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7702 clicks; posted to Geek » on 15 Oct 2010 at 7:16 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-10-15 10:51:14 AM  
Epicedion: which in and of itself shows that treatment isn't all that useful for back pain

There was a study I recall that showed that simply jabbing needles in someone was more effective than a placebo, but that real acupuncture (where you target specific places) and shame acupuncture (where you just jab them in anywhere) were about equally effective. This was in the context of back pain.

Epicedion: But people love their quackery

People love their anecdotes. In any social circle, you can almost always find someone who feels that they benefited from visiting a chiropractor. That seems like really powerful evidence- we're conditioned to rely on the judgments and experiences of our social peers.

That's just the way our brains work.
 
2010-10-15 10:51:47 AM  
Epicedion: The two problems inherent with this

Just one problem.

Well, there are probably others, but I just presented one.
 
2010-10-15 10:54:20 AM  
Epicedion: In general, doctors aren't all that scientific, themselves, and now that the AMA is legally obligated to stop calling chiropractic an "unscientific cult" due to an antitrust ruling, some are of course going to recommend it. Doctors have a weird relationship with science, in that most doctors don't get anywhere near it. But they do use guidelines and procedures that are developed by actual researchers who do science, in the way that mechanics probably don't really understand the science of combustion engines, but know how to use the work of those who do in order to fix them.

That might be the reason. It was just weird that we talked to 3 separate doctors and they all said the same thing.

Of course, to nobody's great surprise, the chiropractor didn't really help all that much. We finally went to another doctor who prescribed prednisone, pain killers, and reset. That worked.
 
2010-10-15 10:58:28 AM  
Needs more trepanation.
 
2010-10-15 10:59:59 AM  
pkellmey: Uh, yeah. I know of many who have died from breast cancer with Western medicine as well; actually nearly every person that I know who has had it.

Wow. You are really unlucky. The survival rate for breast cancer (varies by stage obviously) is quite high.
 
2010-10-15 11:00:47 AM  
pkellmey: Fail in Human Form: So, you're advocating homeopathy, massage, etc to cure breast cancer?

Why assume that? I don't advocate alt therapies, however if it works by placebo for some, it's no different than many of our Western treated problems (like many cancers) that seem to have similar affects. My father's cancer doctor pretty much said, "From my experience with the hundreds of patients I've tried to save with my medicine from lung cancer, it appears to have similar results to prayer." Personally, my work with breast cancer patients appear to have similar stories from their doctors.


On one hand I find that pretty shocking (that an oncologist would say that). On the other hand, a lot of lung cancers have a pretty dismal prognosis. In many cases, the goal of lung cancer treatment is to buy a little more time for the patient and to palliate some of the worse symptoms. However, if you are hearing similar things about breast cancer, then that's flat out wrong. You would be doing the breast cancer patients you work with a huge service if you could provide them with accurate information. I'd be happy to point you in the direction of some resources you can use. You could make a big difference.
 
2010-10-15 11:01:31 AM  
lexnaturalis: That might be the reason. It was just weird that we talked to 3 separate doctors and they all said the same thing.

Of course, to nobody's great surprise, the chiropractor didn't really help all that much. We finally went to another doctor who prescribed prednisone, pain killers, and reset. That worked.


Aspirin-and-a-nap therapy wins again.

People are in the market for instant solutions, and lots of them don't buy the reality that sometimes the best thing to do is nothing.
 
2010-10-15 11:02:44 AM  
lexnaturalis:

Of course, to nobody's great surprise, the chiropractor didn't really help all that much. We finally went to another doctor who prescribed prednisone, pain killers, and reset. That worked.

Wait, you had a problem with your back, and it took you four doctors before you tried turning it off and then turning it on again? That's step one of the flow chart.
 
2010-10-15 11:03:26 AM  
mcjon01: Wait, you had a problem with your back, and it took you four doctors before you tried turning it off and then turning it on again? That's step one of the flow chart.

Try jiggling the mouse.
 
2010-10-15 11:04:00 AM  
t3knomanser: Epicedion: which in and of itself shows that treatment isn't all that useful for back pain

There was a study I recall that showed that simply jabbing needles in someone was more effective than a placebo, but that real acupuncture (where you target specific places) and shame acupuncture (where you just jab them in anywhere) were about equally effective. This was in the context of back pain.


Putting the needle into any area where it hurts will cause the muscle to relax as well as releasing the natural painkillers. Acupuncturists often needle points that aren't the specifically outlined ones in the context of treating pain. There are specific spots that are trigger points for muscles and massage therapists use these areas. There's some other spots that cause interesting effects with the body's nervous and endocrine systems, though, unrelated to pain management.
 
2010-10-15 11:05:27 AM  
FunkOut: lexnaturalis: Epicedion: Ah, the most socially acceptable quackery: chiropractic.

That one's weird for me, because my wife had 3 separate doctors recommend chiropractic for her back.

I always thought chiropractors were quacks, but I also trust the advice of doctors.

Seems to be two groups of chiropractors, ones that think spinal adjustment will fix everything and ones that work primarily to correct people's posture and will tell people when their problem isn't actually related to their spine.



This.

I was born with double scoliosis and walked with a cane for over a year when my back went out, and it's still horribly messed up. If it wasn't for a chiropractor I would be in constant pain and could barely walk. Also went when I injured my neck in a car accident. The results can be seen in my X-rays.

Chiropractic is fine if it's only to correct your spine (or joints in the case of my chiro, who also helps with a shoulder injury). But steer clear if you walk into an office and see crystals, etc. The holistic approach requires some faith. I prefer evidence.

And I'd wager that the main reason some doctors suggest a chiropractor is that your only other alternative is surgery. You don't want to smack a fly with a hammer. Not to mention the expense and risk.


namatad: this chart is full of win. now if he had only written it in english instead of retard-slang.

Oh, come on now, don't be an arse about it.
 
2010-10-15 11:06:22 AM  
Epicedion: lexnaturalis: That might be the reason. It was just weird that we talked to 3 separate doctors and they all said the same thing.

Of course, to nobody's great surprise, the chiropractor didn't really help all that much. We finally went to another doctor who prescribed prednisone, pain killers, and reset. That worked.

Aspirin-and-a-nap therapy wins again.

People are in the market for instant solutions, and lots of them don't buy the reality that sometimes the best thing to do is nothing.


So an anti-inflamatory and a prescription pain killer (I assume vicodin or a knock off (hydrocodone)) is the same as an aspirin and a nap?
 
2010-10-15 11:07:51 AM  
pkellmey: My father's cancer doctor pretty much said, "From my experience with the hundreds of patients I've tried to save with my medicine from lung cancer, it appears to have similar results to prayer."

Dude, you have somehow found yourself in a place where you are not only surrounded by a concentration of statistically unlikely low breast cancer survival rates, but a place that has also home to The Worst Oncologist In the World. Maybe those things are not unrelated?
 
2010-10-15 11:10:33 AM  
pkellmey:

Uh, yeah. I know of many who have died from breast cancer with Western medicine as well; actually nearly every person that I know who has had it. This is probably the weakest example that one could use to show any type of significant difference.
(emphasis mine)

pkellmey, you use those words, I don't think they mean what you think they mean. Statistics, learn about it.
 
2010-10-15 11:15:32 AM  
Fail in Human Form: So an anti-inflamatory and a prescription pain killer (I assume vicodin or a knock off (hydrocodone)) is the same as an aspirin and a nap?

Pretty close, relative to having some guy in a golf shirt shove parts of your spine around.
 
2010-10-15 11:20:07 AM  
My neck was hurting badly to the point my ears were ringing. Went to chiropractor for first time ever. She started messing around and did something and I heard a pop (or crack). Neck instantly felt better. I was told the vertebra was out of alignment. I do not equate that with pseudoscience anymore than I would call physical therapy pseudoscience.
 
2010-10-15 11:21:39 AM  
Zombalupagus: I was born with double scoliosis and walked with a cane for over a year when my back went out, and it's still horribly messed up. If it wasn't for a chiropractor I would be in constant pain and could barely walk. Also went when I injured my neck in a car accident. The results can be seen in my X-rays.

Chiropractic is fine if it's only to correct your spine (or joints in the case of my chiro, who also helps with a shoulder injury). But steer clear if you walk into an office and see crystals, etc. The holistic approach requires some faith. I prefer evidence.


If you look you can find anecdotes that chiropractic is responsible for causing permanent spinal damage. The question that needs to be asked is "is the risk worth potential benefits?" In your case things worked out, but what were the odds of it working out? What were the odds if you'd gone with some other treatment?

I'm glad things worked out for you, but saying that "it's fine for X" needs more qualification if you're going to recommend it to others, since statistics will eventually win out.
 
2010-10-15 11:27:39 AM  
LindLTaylor: My neck was hurting badly to the point my ears were ringing. Went to chiropractor for first time ever. She started messing around and did something and I heard a pop (or crack). Neck instantly felt better. I was told the vertebra was out of alignment. I do not equate that with pseudoscience anymore than I would call physical therapy pseudoscience.

From the wiki:

Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice posing as science, but which does not constitute or adhere to an appropriate scientific methodology, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, or otherwise lacks scientific status.[1] Pseudoscience has been characterized by the use of vague, exaggerated or untestable claims, over-reliance on confirmation rather than refutation, lack of openness to testing by other experts, and a lack of progress in theory development.

Want to try again?
 
2010-10-15 11:39:48 AM  
LindLTaylor: My neck was hurting badly to the point my ears were ringing. Went to chiropractor for first time ever. She started messing around and did something and I heard a pop (or crack). Neck instantly felt better. I was told the vertebra was out of alignment. I do not equate that with pseudoscience anymore than I would call physical therapy pseudoscience.

Compressed nerves can do some bizarre things. A lot of people's necks are screwed from sitting at a desk all day or spending hours driving.
 
2010-10-15 11:50:25 AM  
What do you call alternate therapies that have been scientifically proven effective?

Modern medicine
 
2010-10-15 11:52:33 AM  
threedingers: You just described exactly the (recently deceased) wife of a good friend of mine. She was 45.

When people ask, "Where's the harm?" I tell them about this woman.


You can also point them to whatstheharm.net (new window)
 
2010-10-15 12:01:33 PM  
fark pseudoscience.
 
2010-10-15 12:03:53 PM  
Ivo Shandor: threedingers: You just described exactly the (recently deceased) wife of a good friend of mine. She was 45.

When people ask, "Where's the harm?" I tell them about this woman.

You can also point them to whatstheharm.net (new window)


Ya, I've seen it. There is a disturbingly disproportionate number of Canadian stories there.

I'd love to see some stats though, instead of just a collection anecdotes (says the guy with an anecdote!).
 
2010-10-15 12:10:07 PM  
GAT_00: So I'm guessing a Brit made that.

allo guvna what makes you think that old bean, pip pip cheerio, join me for a spot of tea, then?
 
2010-10-15 12:10:39 PM  
I'm a little disappointed that you can't get to "Vaccine Rejection" through the "healed by God" route. Most of the vaccine opponents I've come across are fundies.
 
2010-10-15 12:12:48 PM  
Note to the three chiropractors I foolishly tried over the years in search of back pain relief: If the first thing you want me to do is watch a video full of anecdotal cheerleading and junk science that explains how you aren't a quack... then I'm sorry - you're a quack.

Luckily, after 120 straight days of nightmare pain and not a single good night's sleep as I tried stretching, PT and the conservative approach, an excellent neurosurgeon went in and removed the portion of the disc that was pressing on the nerve before the loss of feeling in my leg could become permanent. Instant relief. Three years later and I still want to send the guy a thank you card every month. Back surgery - formerly a shot in the dark at best - has come a long way since they found a way to see images of soft tissue. Though I'm sure lots of guys still fark it up. Maybe I got lucky. I still feel like an idiot for letting some snake oil med school washout charge me $100 to stick his knee in my back after biting my tongue for the carnival act portion of the diagnosis (one shoulder is too low and this leg is a little shorter!). Desperation makes the mind weak I suppose.
 
2010-10-15 12:13:52 PM  
I want the one with a happy ending.
 
2010-10-15 12:35:53 PM  
Fail in Human Form: *Follows flow chart out of curiosity*.... ends up at Rolfing (new window)


What the fark......


"holistic system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that organized the whole body in gravity"

Well with that many big words it can't be wrong.
 
2010-10-15 12:56:01 PM  
StrangeQ: Fail in Human Form: *Follows flow chart out of curiosity*.... ends up at Rolfing (new window)


What the fark......

"holistic system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that organized the whole body in gravity"

Well with that many big words it can't be wrong.


images2.wikia.nocookie.net
Whole body in what now?
 
2010-10-15 01:32:20 PM  
t3knomanser: stuhayes2010: Yes, always go to doctor who will prescribe drugs followed by surgery first

Well, going to someone who's actually a doctor is a good first step.

lexnaturalis: That one's weird for me, because my wife had 3 separate doctors recommend chiropractic for her back

Manipulation of the muscles and bones of the back can help back issues. The problem is that chiropractic holds that misalignments of the spine are causes of disease and that these manipulations can cure other things. Which is patently false.

Also, massage therapy is just as good as chiropractic, and doesn't carry the same risks (chiropractic adjustments can cause damage to your spine). Of course, massage therapy has been invaded by much the same sort of woo about chakras and energy, etc.


My last masseuse practically wanted to draw up a complete horoscope to help pick the right aromatherapy. I'm like, that one smells fine, I just want a massage.

\I regularly get fliers on my door for Rolfing - "the philosophy, science, and art of aligning the human body structure in spacetime and gravity". Doesn't sound made up at all!
 
2010-10-15 01:43:37 PM  
StrangeQ: Fail in Human Form: *Follows flow chart out of curiosity*.... ends up at Rolfing (new window)


What the fark......

"holistic system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that organized the whole body in gravity"

Well with that many big words it can't be wrong.


It reads a bit like the ones who are trying to sell useless overpriced tat to audiophiles, doesn't it?
 
2010-10-15 01:47:00 PM  
Skirl Hutsenreiter: philosophy, science, and art

It's a philsophy, science, and art? Throw in a foreign language and a lit class and you've got a first semester college freshman's schedule.
 
2010-10-15 01:54:18 PM  
Epicedion: Yeah, but what your chiropractor believes is what's important, considering he's the one manually manipulating your spine. They're made up of a large proportion of unscientific quacks. For people who are charged with improving your health, that's unacceptable.

The guy I see every couple months approaches it as a form of physical therapy. I actually signed a paper on my first visit explaining that the only condition his therapy treats is muscular and joint pain.
 
2010-10-15 02:37:09 PM  
Gordon Bennett: StrangeQ: Fail in Human Form: *Follows flow chart out of curiosity*.... ends up at Rolfing (new window)


What the fark......

"holistic system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that organized the whole body in gravity"

Well with that many big words it can't be wrong.

It reads a bit like the ones who are trying to sell useless overpriced tat to audiophiles, doesn't it?


You ain't seen nothin' yet.

Link (new window)


I'm in this industry, and I definately belive in the therapeutic power of massage. But it's therapy because you're kneading aching muscles and realigning poor posture, not because of subcellular alignments and all this nonsense.
 
2010-10-15 03:57:57 PM  
Hagbardr: The guy I see every couple months approaches it as a form of physical therapy. I actually signed a paper on my first visit explaining that the only condition his therapy treats is muscular and joint pain. designed solely to limit the chiro's liability and satisfy the state law requiring him to disclose that he is not a medical doctor and has not been to medical school

fixed
 
2010-10-15 04:09:54 PM  
JohnBigBootay: Hagbardr: The guy I see every couple months approaches it as a form of physical therapy. I actually signed a paper on my first visit explaining that the only condition his therapy treats is muscular and joint pain. designed solely to limit the chiro's liability and satisfy the state law requiring him to disclose that he is not a medical doctor and has not been to medical school

fixed


Yup. If it were only informative you wouldn't have to sign it.
 
2010-10-15 04:17:38 PM  
Was at a party recently where a doctor was telling about a bike collision he saw at a recent race, and how he was all ready to help out before the medics beat him to it. Almost shot my drink through my nose when I asked what kind of doctor he was and he said "chiropractor".

/is that mean?
//csb
 
2010-10-15 04:22:11 PM  
boredgrad: Was at a party recently where a doctor was telling about a bike collision he saw at a recent race, and how he was all ready to help out before the medics beat him to it. Almost shot my drink through my nose when I asked what kind of doctor he was and he said "chiropractor".

/is that mean?
//csb


"I got my doctorate in Art History!"

static.tvfanatic.com
 
2010-10-15 06:12:50 PM  
Probably better for you than the shiat approved by the wonderful government organization called the FDA
 
2010-10-15 06:19:15 PM  
soia: Probably better for you than the shiat approved by the wonderful government organization called the FDA

I say again, fark pseudoscience.
 
2010-10-15 07:45:21 PM  
soia: Probably better for you than the shiat approved by the wonderful government organization called the FDA

This goes so far beyond [citation needed] as to require [you pulled this out of an ass that Mr. Goatse would find impressive].
 
2010-10-16 12:16:34 PM  
Epicedion: Yup. If it were only informative you wouldn't have to sign it.

True. But 30 minutes of massage, a back cracking, and then some TENS beats the hell out of being zonked out on Vicodin or Flexeril when it comes to back pain.
 
2010-10-16 08:21:38 PM  
Sigh.

For people that seem to be so science based there sure is a lot of negative anecdotes about chiropractic.

As for chiropractic not being safe, well that is untrue. Spinal Manipulative Therapy is performed by PTs, chiropractors, and medical doctors. Most of the reported adverse effects reported in the literature come from Europe where most manipulation is attributed to chiropractors, even if the individual isn't a chiropractor.

The largest scale study of stroke (the most serious adverse event associated with manipulation) and chiropractic was published in Spine 2009 and found no increased risk between manipulation, visits to chiropractors, and stroke compared to a similar cohort who visited medical doctors.

As for who is a doctor and who isn't. My diploma granted by a nationally accredited school has the words "Doctor of Chiropractic" on it, so I think you know where I stand. I don't really understand the attitude of only medical doctors should be called "doctor". Do you think doctors of osteopathy should be called doctor? They have the same scope of practice and education. How about doctors of physical therapy? Their programs are a mix of MD and chiropractic (DC) education with a limited scope similar to DCs.

Let me just state my opinion before I am called a quack: spinal manipulation helps with musculoskeletal conditions in most patients. It doesn't help everyone, and it doesn't help everything. I think chiropractors will be replaced by DPTs within 50 years unless they decide to 'cull the herd' and get rid of the quacks. I think chiropractic education needs a big overhaul and a residency program.

I hope some of you understand that not every chiropractor is a complete idiot.
 
2010-10-17 01:25:21 AM  
91z4me: I hope some of you understand that not every chiropractor is a complete idiot.

No, just 62% of you.

The problem is not that chiropractic is worthless, but rather that it's built on fundamental concepts and principles that are deeply flawed at best, and complete fabrications at worst.

I'm sorry you chose a profession that's full of quacks, but until your professional organizations weed them out, dispense with the pseudoscience, and start relying on evidence-based medicine, your degree that was accredited by the same people who can't keep 62% of your peers from being quacks isn't a very convincing document.
 
2010-10-17 07:26:39 PM  
Gordon Bennett:

Even more obligatory Dara O'Brien (new window)

Quoted for awesome
 
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