New This Week: February 23, 2012
X-Rays Often Meaningless for Arthritis and Back Pain
X-Rays, MRIs and CT Scans: Radiologists Love Them … But They're Often Meaningless!
We've known for decades that spinal x-rays, MRIs and CT scans add very little information about back pain.
They most often don't tell doctors whether the pain is coming from the spine or from disc, arthritic or bone disease (though they may reveal if the problem can be fixed with a chiropractic adjustment).
Research also shows that, if back pain is present, radiologists tend to interpret x-ray results as confirming the presence of a host of horrific (and scary-sounding) problems. Yet remarkably, if those same radiologists are shown x-rays and MRIs from both healthy people and those with back pain, they can't tell one group from the other!
Nonetheless, doctors continue to scare people by telling them how horrible their x-rays look. And they continue to operate on people based on those x-rays — even though the x-ray results are often meaningless, with much of the back pain coming from muscular and ligament problems that are totally reversible without surgery.
The same folly applies to x-rays for arthritis. An exception? X-rays for rheumatoid arthritis may show the scope of, and severity of, the disease, and help guide how aggressive the needed treatment should be.
Now, a new study shows the same type of radiological "madness" for TMJ/jaw joint dysfunction — with doctors reaching conclusions that simply aren't true, and unnecessarily operating on people based on these! Here is yet another study showing that x-rays simply do not tell if the jaw joint is the source of jaw pain. And, here's a very practical way to protect yourself from unnecessary procedures based on mistaken conclusions.
Love & blessings,
Update on Using HCG to Treat Pain
Below is an email exchange between myself and Dr. Forrest Tennant, who has been researching the use of HCG for chronic pain, in which he answers several questions I had about the treatment. He is continuing to find it very helpful and feels it should be offered to all patients with "central pain" — the central sensitization that is a part of fibromyalgia. Though still controversial, I agree that HCG is a very reasonable treatment for those with FMS who continue to experience chronic pain despite having treated with the SHINE protocol.
If you haven't read my two earlier articles about using HCG for pain, here are the links:
And then my email exchange with Dr. Tennant …
Sunbathe to Prevent a Stroke?
In a study of more than 16,000 people aged 45 and older, those who lived in areas with the shortest exposure to sunlight had a 56% increased risk of stroke.
Painkillers and Pregnancy Problems: The Surprising Connection
In earlier newsletters I discussed how arthritis medications called NSAIDs (like ibuprofen) are likely responsible for over 30,000 preventable deaths a year. Now, new research shows that NSAIDs also more than double the risk of miscarriages when they are taken during pregnancy.
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