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 PainScience.com: a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

High expectations

Paul Ingraham

From the mailbag, a worried husband explains his wife’s complicated case of bilateral sciatica and other neurological symptoms, and then asks:

In your esteemed medical opinion, what is the least toxic non invasive treatment modality for this case to reach Complete Remission from disease?

The expectations and naivete on display there are just bonkers. 😬 My reply:

Unfortunately, your question is heartbreakingly unrealistic. I’m extremely sorry to hear that your wife is suffering, but no ethical healthcare professional would ever make treatment recommendations based on an email, let alone recommendations for how to achieve “complete remission” without risks. If anyone does try to give you that kind of hope, you should not believe it. If you’re emailing strangers on the internet asking for help, you are in great danger of being taken advantage of in this way. Quackery is common! If you keep asking people for “solutions,” someone is going to give you one, or more likely sell you one, but it will be bullshit.

I tried to be diplomatic and compassionate. Maybe I didn’t quite pull it off.

End of post marker

Last post: Bulk books for sale!

Next post: Narcolepsy isn’t just about attacks of sleepiness