Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

“Promising”: You keep using that word…

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

The word “promising,” with regards to research, started backfiring for me about a decade ago. I ❤️ this simple point from Hilda Bastian:

“A promising treatment is often in fact merely the larval stage of a disappointing one. At least a third of influential trials suggesting benefit may either ultimately be contradicted or turn out to have exaggerated effectiveness.”

Larval stage, snort. Very nicely put! That’s from the academic paper; see also Hilda’s more accessible post on the topic.