PainSci summary of Berman 2010?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★☆☆☆☆1-star ratings are for negative examples, fatally flawed papers, junk science, suspected fraud. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.
A bizarre and already infamous paper: bizarre because the authors clearly acknowledge that acupuncture is no better than a placebo, and bizarre because they conclude that it should be recommended, and most bizarre of all because it is published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Truly, one of the lowest moments in the history of that famous journal!
The best criticisms of the NEJM’s editorial choices here can both be found on Science-Based Medicine, by Drs. Crislip (NEJM and Acupuncture: Even the best can publish nonsense) and Novella (Acupuncture Pseudoscience in the New England Journal of Medicine). Dr. Crislip’s post is really quite funny.
original abstract†Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
This Journal feature begins with a case vignette that includes a therapeutic recommendation. A discussion of the clinical problem and the mechanism of benefit of this form of therapy follows. Major clinical studies, the clinical use of this therapy, and potential adverse effects are reviewed. Relevant formal guidelines, if they exist, are presented. The article ends with the authors' clinical recommendations.
- “Comparative Effectiveness of Tai Chi Versus Physical Therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Trial,” Chenchen Wang, Christopher H Schmid, Maura D Iversen, William F Harvey, Roger A Fielding, Jeffrey B Driban, Lori Lyn Price, John B Wong, Kieran F Reid, Ramel Rones, and Timothy McAlindon, Annals of Internal Medicine, 2016.
- “A randomized trial of tai chi for fibromyalgia,” Chenchen Wang, Christopher H Schmid, Ramel Rones, Robert Kalish, Janeth Yinh, Don L Goldenberg, Yoojin Lee, and Timothy McAlindon, New England Journal of Medicine, 2010.
These eight articles on PainScience.com cite Berman 2010 as a source:
- PS Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain Syndrome — A guide to the unfinished science of muscle pain, with reviews of every theory and self-treatment and therapy option
- PS Save Yourself from Low Back Pain! — Low back pain myths debunked and all your treatment options reviewed
- PS Save Yourself from Neck Pain! — A complete guide to chronic neck pain and the disturbing sensation of a “crick”
- PS Does Acupuncture Work for Pain? — A review of modern acupuncture evidence and myths, focused on treatment of back pain & other common chronic pains
- PS T’ai Chi Helps Fibromyalgia, but It’s Not “Alternative” Medicine — Despite a high profile boost from the New England Journal of Medicine, it’s still just gentle, elegant, and pleasant exercise
- PS Quackery Red Flags — Beware the 3 D's of quackery: Dubious, Dangerous and Distracting treatments for aches and pains (or anything else)
- PS Does Fascia Matter? — A detailed critical analysis of the clinical relevance of fascia science and fascia properties
- PS Placebo Power Hype — The placebo effect is fascinating, but its “power” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- A Bayesian model-averaged meta-analysis of the power pose effect with informed and default priors: the case of felt power. Gronau 2017 Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology.
- The neck and headaches. Bogduk 2014 Neurol Clin.
- Agreement of self-reported items and clinically assessed nerve root involvement (or sciatica) in a primary care setting. Konstantinou 2012 Eur Spine J.
- Effect of NSAIDs on Recovery From Acute Skeletal Muscle Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Morelli 2017 Am J Sports Med.
- Association of Spinal Manipulative Therapy With Clinical Benefit and Harm for Acute Low Back Pain: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Paige 2017 JAMA.