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#1 Randy Stein

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 05:03 PM

Back in the day, I broke an elbow and dislocated my shoulder. (I worked as a circus acrobat...occupational hazard). As luck would have it, I have been playing and performing quite a bit recently and unfortunately my mind is 23 but my body isn't. After a few hours of playing I began to feel the aches and pains in my shoulder and elbow. I began a series of accupuncture treatments and it is amazing how much it alleviates the pain and joint movement. Coupled with use of a topical analgesic (I use Traumeel) and heat has made playing much less a pain. I highly reccommend accupuncture as a treatment for joint and chronic muscle issues.
As my Mother was fond of saying 'Getting old ain't for sissies!"
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#2 Chris Drinkwater

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 05:36 PM

To echo Randy's belief in the healing power of acupuncture, I can also report having had success with treatments for various ailments, including relief from lower back pain, using traditional Chinese acupuncture. Old age is not for wimps, that's for sure. ;) Back in the days when I was a stiltwalker, I slipped and fell one day while performing in a circus ring and fractured my right wrist. Not nice!

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#3 michael sam wild

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 03:55 AM

I was going to ask which traements people have found useful. I've got a recurrence of a 'frozen' shoulder. Would a sports injury person be best. I wonder if someone who deals with tennis or golf players could be the best adviser?

In the past the GP has referred me on for a shot of cortisone into the joint, now it's back!

On hliday I swam daily doing breast stroke but couldn't get the right shoulder over for the crawl stroke.

#4 Randy Stein

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 06:41 AM

I was going to ask which traements people have found useful. I've got a recurrence of a 'frozen' shoulder. Would a sports injury person be best. I wonder if someone who deals with tennis or golf players could be the best adviser?

In the past the GP has referred me on for a shot of cortisone into the joint, now it's back!

On hliday I swam daily doing breast stroke but couldn't get the right shoulder over for the crawl stroke.


I personally do not like the cortisone shots or any pain medication. They mess with my memory too much. I have used heat and massage for years as well as chiropractic sessions when needed. I would recommend a good sports doctor is they are not pill and shot crazy, especially if they give you a good physical therapy regiment to follow. If you have available, check out someone experienced in acupressure or acupuncture.
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#5 michael sam wild

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 02:03 PM

thanks to those who have sent advice. I saw the Doctor and he has referred me to a chiropracter and reckons it is most likely arthritis in the joint rather than problems with the muscles of the rotator cuff. He has also advised pain killers and exercises to allow movement to work the joint without being apprehensive .. Good examination he did his specialism in rheumatology, so i was lucky. First time any doctor has actually asked me to take off my shirt and has listened to the crunchy joints.
He says an X ray may be useful and said long term an artifical joint may be necessary.

I'll try the alternatives first.

Update.
I went to a chiropracter recommended by a friend who is a martial artist. he manipulated the joint after deadening my muscles with his karate fingers! He also tried to sign me up to his band!

This showed the joint is mobile but some arthritis and crunching (crepitus). A lot of the muscles are not functioning properly due to some atrophy because of avoidance of pain.

So it's exercises after ibubrufen and paracetamol, , maybe a cortisone shot to beef me up around the joint and acupuncture to reestablish the brain, muscle links.
Occasionaly I take Naproxen to reduce inflamation

One thing I have found is that, if a movement is excruciating - if I move the arm on the other side first, the painful arm follows it with less pain and I can do it.


I'm using some of my partner's dinky weights as well.

Edited by michael sam wild, 20 October 2010 - 05:11 AM.


#6 michael sam wild

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 02:26 PM

The exercises seem to be having some good effect and reiforcing the rotator cuff group.I am doing crawl stroke again, Hurrah!

#7 michael sam wild

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 07:54 AM

Great progress since October and nearly back to normal for my age although there is still crepitus from old accidents and osteoarthritis :(

I've been in some storming Irish music session recently and felt fine.

Chiropractic and acupuncture definitely worth a try. Sadly there is no chiropractic on NHS in the whole of Sheffield so I had to go private but I have Westfield insurance form my old job. Excellent

I also use an non steroidal anti-inflammatory from time to time. Meloxicam 7.5 mg

There was good article in Diabetes UK mag. Balance in November 2010 p71 on Frozen Shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) Recovery can sometimes take a few years as ligaments re stretch as used again as pain decreases.So i have been fortunate so far.


NB recent numbness in arms diagnosed as bad posure in computer chair acting on wear and tear of cervical vertebrae.

Got new chair but may give up going on line B)


At the football yesterday my pal who is a GP said the natural history of frozen sholder is that it just gets better but may take years.

Edited by michael sam wild, 23 January 2011 - 07:08 AM.


#8 Chris Drinkwater

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 04:59 AM

As a great believer in complementary and alternative medicine, myself, I am pleased these treatments are working for you, Mike. And sitting on a chair in front of a computer for long periods of time is not good; for the body, for the eyes. You need to get up regularly, say every half hour, and have a stretch, do some shoulder rotations for a minute or two and have a bit of a walk about. :) Getting old, doesn't help, either. :(

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#9 Ardie

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 09:05 AM

Randy, Mike and Chris
Individual experiences from complementary or alternative medicine may of course be positive for the individual but when it comes to recommending the methods to others it may be more complicated.Do keep in mind that there is no scientific evidence for any other result by acupuncture in these cases than the "placebo effect" and even if you don't spend a fortune on it the treatment costs some money.In most cases of work-related strain or pain essential work hygiene and fitness activities remain being the most important measures.

#10 JimLucas

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:51 PM

Do keep in mind that there is no scientific evidence for any other result by acupuncture in these cases than the "placebo effect" and even if you don't spend a fortune on it the treatment costs some money.

Not "in these cases"? ... But perhaps in some other "cases"?
Care to be more specific?

Acupuncture is used with success in veterinary medicine. In particular, I'm aware of its use on horses, which to the best of my knowledge do not succumb to the placebo effect.

I'm a severe critic of beliefs -- medical and otherwise -- that ignore evidence, but that cuts both ways. Rejecting a treatment just because it hasn't been given a positive review in Lancet, approved by the FDA or recommended by the AMA is just as foolish as rejecting a treatment because it has received such approval. Acupuncture has been shown to be effective, despite resistance from the pills-and-scalpel medical conservatives to even test its usefulness. I strongly discount the traditional explanations of why or how it works, but that doesn't prevent it from working.

Not that there aren't cases where it has failed. From personal experience I can say that "modern medicine" also does not perform as predicted 100% of the time. And in both realms that could be from a variety of causes, unfortunately including incompetent practitioners.

I would say that if others here have reported personal success with acupuncture for a particular problem, it's at least worth a try.

And even if it is a "placebo effect", if it works, then it works... even if modern medical science can't (yet?) explain how.

Edited by JimLucas, 24 January 2011 - 01:54 PM.


#11 Chris Drinkwater

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 02:38 PM

Acupuncture is used with success in veterinary medicine. In particular, I'm aware of its use on horses, which to the best of my knowledge do not succumb to the placebo effect.


There are vets who use homeopathy to treat animals and claim success. If true, then it's unlikely to be the result of the placebo effect either. There are still lots of mysteries that science alone cannot explain yet, and maybe never will in our lifetime. That doesn't invalidate them. I bet if someone from a tribe in an area of the world that has had little or no contact with other, civilized people, e.g. in Borneo, and saw someone talking into a mobile phone, or heard someone playing a tune on a concertina, they'd probably think it must be some kind of magic or trickery at work, not having seen anything like it before. It wouldn't compute with them. But we in the West, know it isn't magic and have a rational, scientific explanation for it.

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#12 Ardie

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 03:54 PM

"These cases". More specific: Randy: "I highly reccommend accupuncture as a treatment for joint and chronic muscle issues".Chris:" including relief from lower back pain, using traditional Chinese acupuncture". Mike:" acupuncture to reestablish the brain, muscle links","crepitus from old accidents and osteoarthritis"..."acupuncture definitely worth a try".
Chris:"There are vets who use homeopathy to treat animals and claim success. If true, then it's unlikely to be the result of the placebo effect either".
It isn't true - or let's say there is no evidence for it - so don't bother.Try it if you like wasting some money but don't recommend it.
IF you get better it is your belief that does it - same with witchcraft - and same when you get side-effects from placebo...

#13 Ken_Coles

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 05:40 PM

Interesting experience...I once met an acupuncturist who was a concertina player. They would have an interesting perspective on this. I'll confess as a science teacher I was skeptical then but decided I don't have enough evidence to decide either way; it certainly works for some folks. My uncle, a retired family physician, says the same thing - he doesn't dismiss it out of hand. It would be interesting if that person contributed here but they have not been active on C.net for a number of years.

Squeeze on (as long as it doesn't hurt too much)
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#14 JimLucas

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 08:48 PM

IF you get better it is your belief that does it - same with witchcraft - and same when you get side-effects from placebo...

Ardie, your claims which I've just quoted are the same sort of witch-doctor mumbo-jumbo that you're claiming acupuncture and homeopathy to be... because I don't believe that you can demonstrate a mechanism by which belief produces healing, or even describe a reasonable theory for such a mechanism in terms of contemporary known science. It is apparently something you believe, but "there is no scientific evidence" that either "belief" or a "placebo effect" has specific curative powers, much less that they are responsible for any particular recovery that lacks an explanation widely accepted by the entrenched medical community.

Your assertions also leave me wondering what you consider to be the nature of "scientific evidence" and of science itself. One of the fundamental principles is that lack of evidence of an effect is not the same as evidence of the lack of an effect. Especially if no controlled experiment/study has been done to measure the possible extent of such an effect.

So I ask you, do you know of studies of the effectiveness of acupuncture which demonstrate clearly that it doesn't work? Or even -- perhaps I should say especially? -- that it only "works" for individuals who profess to believe in it?

For what it's worth, I'm far more dubious about the effectiveness of homeopathy than acupuncture. Though I haven't personally tried either treatment (I am prejudiced toward standard medical practice... with a good dose of skepticism), I do know people who have, and I know personally one practitioner of each. Information I've gained from them has helped shape my opinions of both acupuncture and homeopathy... and not always in the ways they intended.

In the end, my evaluation of a treatment is simple: Did/does it work...reproducibly?

In the current example, I think there's enough evidence to justify giving acupuncture a try, though not enough to keep trying it if it seems not to be working.

#15 Ardie

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 09:58 AM

Ardie...I don't believe that you can demonstrate a mechanism by which belief produces healing..


I didn't say so either.By "get better" I just meant you *feel* better. I didn't sat that the cancer was gone.But if you "get better" or "feel better" sometimes is a philosophical question much involved in this kind of discussion.

So I ask you, do you know of studies of the effectiveness of acupuncture which demonstrate clearly that it doesn't work? Or even -- perhaps I should say especially? -- that it only "works" for individuals who profess to believe in it?


"doesn't work" - do you mean healing (= objective curative effect )or feeling (= some subjective effect) this time? It does "work" for believers - that is known for centuries.There is no evidence that it has any objective effect on several specific conditions where it traditionally is used. After some decades of some academic acceptance better studies have been carried out and scepticism seems to be growing again.
You find a fairly recent (2008) survey with several references here:
Simon Singh/Edzard Ernst."Trick or Treatment.Alternative medicine on trial."

In the current example, I think there's enough evidence to justify giving acupuncture a try


Are you prepared to pay for other's trials? One important aspect on "alternative methods" is that the
time spent on them may be wasted while the illness gets worse from not being treated with methods based on evidence.

#16 RatFace

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 11:07 AM

There are vets who use homeopathy to treat animals and claim success. If true, then it's unlikely to be the result of the placebo effect either.


Which is more likely:

1. people "treat" an animal with a substance which they know is "supposed" to have some beneficial effect, and they tend to report a beneficial effect because (1) they are looking for it (2) the kind of problems homoeopathy is used for tend to get better on their own anyway (3) they feel under a conscious/unconscious desire to please their advisor (4) they don't want to admit to themselves that they just wasted their money (6) of any of huge number of other psychological factors.

or

2.1 Homoepaths dissolve a substance in water (pure only to about one part in 1000000?) in 12 stages, diluting it by a factor of 1000000000000000000000000, whilst beating it with a leather covered object. At this point it contains no molecules of the original substance.

2.2 They then dilute the resulting potion by another factor of 1000000000000000000000000 whilst continuing to beat it. At this point it contains no molecules of the potion that contains no molecules of the original substance.

2.3 They then dilute it by another factor 1000000000000 whilst beating it.

2.4 They then put a few drops of the water based potion onto some sugar (again impure). Almost all of the water evaporates.

2.5 They then give some of these to healthy subjects, and take note of their symptoms (without worrying too much about controls or the underlying cause of symptoms), assuming these symptoms have been provoked by the substance (now diluted by a factor of 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000).

At this point they have a potential cure for those observed symptoms. Now it's ready to treat you!

2.6 Homoepaths dissolve a substance in water in 12 stages, diluting it by a factor of 1000000000000000000000000, whilst beating it with a leather covered object. At this point it contains no molecules of the original substance.

2.7 They then dilute the resulting potion by another factor of 1000000000000000000000000 whilst continuing to beat it. At this point it contains no molecules of the potion that contains no molecules of the original substance.

2.8 They then dilute it by another factor 1000000000000 whilst beating it.

2.9 They then put a few drops of the water based potion onto some (impure) sugar. Almost all of the water evaporates.

2.10 They then give some of these to subjects exhibiting the symptoms. The body is then provoked into reacting to the potion (which in healthy patients would provoke the symptoms) thus not just treating the symptoms, but treating the patient as a whole (errr what?! I never got this bit!).

There are still lots of mysteries that science alone cannot explain yet, and maybe never will in our lifetime. That doesn't invalidate them.


Indeed, but it doesn't validate them as genuine mysteries either. And just because I don't _know_ whether there's a fluorescent green goblin sitting inside the box of tea bags in front of me doesn't mean I can't make a very good guess based on plausibility. Every single step of the homoeopathy method is ridiculously implausible as a mechanism for curing illness.

On top of that, homoeopathic pills are very suitable for double blind controlled trials, and they consistently show they don't have any effect above placebo. It's no good some people saying "well they work for me", because the only way for the statistics to balance out would be for them to actually make an equal number of people worse (so one couldn't recommend them to someone unless you knew in advance if they would have a positive or negative response to homoeopathy).

Acupuncture isn't in quite the same area of ludicrousness as homoeopathy - for a start it's plausible that sticking needles into living creatures has measurable effects. However, my understanding is that there's not much consensus between the different acupuncture/pressure points between techniques (so no particular reason to trust the explanations given by acupuncture practitioners), and not much (if any) evidence of efficacy above placebo (including all the psychological reporting/measurement effects), and if it does relieve pain (by whatever means) that itself could mask underlying medical problems that need more than symptomatic treatment, and it's not entirely risk free either (infection etc). So if it's all placebo, then homoeopathic placebos are probably the ones to buy :)

I'd treat with a big pinch of salt any statement following "in my experience" whether or not it comes from a homoeopathic, acupuncture or conventional medical practitioner, or indeed myself. Personal experience/judgement is a really bad measure of things like this.

As Ardie says, the Simon Singh/Edzard Ernst book "Trick or Treatment.Alternative medicine on trial." is worth reading.

#17 Chris Drinkwater

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 02:24 PM

As Ardie says, the Simon Singh/Edzard Ernst book "Trick or Treatment.Alternative medicine on trial." is worth reading.


There are skeptics and their are cynics who claim to be skeptics. Edzard Ernst is one these. He may be qualified as an MD and have a PhD, both obtained in his native Germany, and ironically, did train as a Homeopath in Germany too (his father was one!) but other than that he has no qualifications in CAM. So, how he became the world's first and only professor of Complimentary Medicine, when he seeks to negate it all the time, I do not know. I have not read his book but I have read articles by him and I have come to the conclusion that Edzard and co have been so brain washed into one dimentional thinking that they are incapable of reasoning any more. They have become medical fundementalists. People will seek treatment where ever they can. If modern medicine is ineffective at best or poisoning them at worse, they will not take it lying down. Hence the profileration of CAM. And hence the medics' reaction to beginning to lose their powerbase. Naturally, they will debunk it.

Having said that, I tend to agree with Danny about Homeopathy. I have tried it in the past and it has not worked for me. The idea that water can hold a memory, of a substance so diluted, does see impossible.

Chris

#18 michael sam wild

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 03:01 PM

I just passed on my experience and as a scientist I am naturally sceptical. I was recommended by a number of friends for whom it had worked and thought it woth the try ( it is paid for by my occupational health scheme) I've had no success with physiotherapists or my GPs but I still kept seeing them

Anyway had a great swim today!
Chris I break off from the computer to play the Anglo at regular intevals and I've just got a new chair that avoids neck straining


It's up to individuals whether they decide to have ago, I'm not preaching.




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