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Thought-provoking posts on science, health and beliefs

Posted Jun 08 2010 12:58am

The blogosophere is pretty hot right now – some really interesting topics being discussed, enough to make me think again about my own biases.

The first one is the popular Science-Based Medicine blog that rarely fails to challenge those that prefer ‘belief’ over ‘evidence’ – do not proceed to this blog if you think homeopathy or reiki is ‘good for your health’, this blog does not mince words!  Three posts have particularly caught my eye recently – this one on some of the reasons people (even scientists!) find it hard to change tack when new evidence is found; this one on the misinterpretation of acupuncture trials; and this one on the role of adenosine in pain relief.

The first post really struck me as I look at my own bias towards nonbiomedical interventions – yes, even I can be tempted to ‘overlook’ studies that show equivocal findings for CBT-based approaches, or to focus on studies that show positive outcomes… I remember my initial concern about mirror therapy and graded motor imagery for CRPS – and while I still hold concerns that this treatment doesn’t seem to reduce pain and increase function in many people (notably the complex presentations we see at Pain Management Centre), I do think it holds promise for people with CRPS now that the evidence is gathering.  That’s science you see – revising what we accept in the face of accumulating evidence.

Movin’ Meat is the rather curious name of a blog written by an ER physician (and administrator, bless him).  This blog is often about    but this post is a repost and hilarious.  Do not read if you’re easily offended, but given that people with chronic pain DO have a sense of humour (how would you survive without it?!), this post on a Brand New Pain Scale hit my funny bone – read and enjoy!  After my experiences last year with tonsillectomy, I totally appreciate the need for a ‘beyond what I want to cope with’ number on a pain scale.   I’ve always thought that putting a number to my pain is a bit silly, wouldn’t it make more sense to start with ‘no pain’, move to ‘a bit of pain but it’s not bothering me’, go from there to ‘yup, this is pain and I’d like it to go no’ and finally ‘I’ve had enough, MAKE IT GO AWAY’.

And lucky last, but certainly not least, is BodyinMind blog and the rip-roaring debate going on there about exercise and back pain, and the most recent discussion about acupuncture and a critical review of some of the most recent papers on it in pain management.

If you’re a Facebook participant, head to the very informative and rational page Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual Physical Therapists .  If you click on this link and you are not a member of Facebook, beware, you won’t be able to get in.  If you’re clicking on this at the Canterbury District Health Board, forget it, Facebook isn’t available.  Otherwise, click away and enjoy the discussions on a whole range of neuroscience and pain management topics.  Some fabulous people and over 2500 fans have joined this page and comment regularly – makes Facebook worth visiting just for this alone!

I hope you enjoy these links – let me know what your thoughts are!

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