From the Pain Research Institute
By Darrell Stoddard
told you 100 years ago that we would be able to send spoken words and music
through the air, and 30 years after that send color pictures though the
air, you would definitely think I had lost my mind. And if I told you just
thirty years ago that something you have never heard of would completely
replace typewriters, you would think I was deranged.
Discovering a better way of healing pain with something
other than medication or surgery, sounds as incredulous as sending pictures
through the air or replacing all typewriters. Just such a discovery has
been made. See the following:
I recently received the following letter in an E-mail
from John Liammari:
"9 Years ago I had two ruptured Cervical Spine disks
that two neurologists insisted would compromise my life style if I did
NOT have a laminectomy (spinal fusion).
ONE treatment with Biotape along with life style changes described
in your book - mainly hydration - and I have been doing everything
the doctors insisted I would never do again."
I have seen this scenario repeated hundreds of times
– people who were told that spinal surgery was their only recourse for
pain from a herniated or bulging disk and then made pain free with no medication
and no surgery.
The above evidence for the effectiveness
of hydration and Biotape is unproven and only anecdotal,
because no double blind placebo controlled studies have been done.
for the efficacy of laminectomies and decompression spinal surgery is also
unproven and unsubstantiated because no double blind placebo controlled
studies for spinal surgery have been done.
the results Mr. Liammari described are "unsubstantiated and unproven" by
double blind studies the relief he received could be due solely to the "placebo
effect." If this is true, and if a few dollars worth of Biotape
and water will do what spinal surgery costing more than $60,000
will do, then we need more placebos.
The reason we even question laminectomies and decompression
spinal surgery for back pain is because too often the patient has more
pain after the surgery than before. There is even a name for this. It is
called failed spinal surgery or FSS.
it right to pay surgeons incredible sums of money (or even for them to
accept it) for spinal surgery when the pain is worse after the surgery than
offer the following challenge to anyone with a ruptured disk, to the insurance
companies that pay for laminectomies, and to the spinal surgeons of America:
Let me see
any ten patients scheduled for decompression back surgery and I will absolutely
guarantee that more than five of the ten patients will be free from pain
and not need spinal surgery after I see them. I make this claim after doing
more than 18,000 documented treatments for pain. In my own mind I believe
I can make 8 or 9 of the ten patients better.
This will be accomplished
often by just one treatment and a possibly a follow-up. Patients can even
apply the Biotape themselves, as Mr. Liamarri did, without ever seeing
just 5 spinal surgeries unnecessary would save our health care system more
than a quarter of a million dollars. Preventing half of the 250,000 spinal
fusions that are performed each year in the U.S. would save more than $7.5 billion
dollars! Is anyone listening?
controlled studies for surgery are almost never done because it would not
benefit the surgeons. There would be no financial gain from a successful
study and everything to loose if the study determined the surgery was
no better than a placebo.
There is one notable exception. The Baylor College of Medicine conducted a placebo-controlled
study on 180 patients to evaluate the efficacy of arthroscopic surgery
for arthritis of the knee. The outcome determined that
the surgery was no more effective than a placebo procedure.
Before the study, about 650,000 arthroscopic knee surgeries
for arthritis in the knee joint were performed each year in the United States at a cost of more than $3 billion
dollars. That $3 billion dollar income a year is no
longer available to surgeons unless they ignore the study that showed the
surgery was no more effective than placebo surgery.
these reasons, there will never be a placebo controlled study for any kind
of spinal surgery. Such surgeries will remain unproven and unsubstantiated
(because there is nothing to gain and more than 7 billion dollars of income
a year to lose).
I am not naïve enough to even hope that a placebo controlled
study for spinal surgery will ever be done, but I think I know what the
outcome would be. And I know, as I know the sun will come up in the morning,
what the outcome would be if the placebo surgery included placing electrically
conductive Biotape over the incision and horizontally crossing
the site of the pain with Biotape.
Revealing the limitations of surgery for back pain will not make spinal surgeons happy but I can teach
them how to reduce the number of FSS (failed spinal surgery) cases, and
dramatically reduce post surgical pain,
a surgical incision is made, it severs the electrical connections between
cells. If in the healing process, the body does not reconnect the broken
circuits, there will be new pain that did not exist before the surgery.
Biotape over the incision would not only help reconnect
the severed electrical connections between cells that cause new pain, but
it would keep the surgical site sterile. Silver kills bacteria, virus,
and fungal germs.
For the latter reason,
two similar silver products have been approved by the FDA for wound healing.
What they don't know is that such products also reduce or eliminate pain
because the silver helps the body reconnect the broken circuits that cause
analgesic (pain medication) market was $50 billion in the year 2005 and
is expected to increase to $75 billion by the year 2010 and $105 billion
by the year 2015.
all pain medications are harmful because they suppress other vital functions.
One analgesic, Vioxx alone, may have killed an estimated 55,000 people.
cause gastro-intestinal bleeding, cause liver and kidney damage, paralyze
bowels, suppress respiratory function, may be addictive, suppress motor
function (one of the reasons so many old people use walkers or are in wheelchairs),
and if that isn't enough, pain medications suppress mental function.
If you take enough pain medication, you won't need
Kevorkian. The medications will not only shut off the pain but the heart
and lungs as well. The entire analgesic approach to relieving
pain is profoundly, wrong because it is treating the symptom, not the cause
submit that the cause of all pain is cut, broken, or suppressed electrical
connections between cells.
my reader, can find out for yourselves if this is true by placing the
inside of a banana peel (an excellent conductor) on your body wherever
you hurt. It will reduce your pain by helping the body to reconnect the
broken circuits that are the cause of pain.
If this theory
is correct, the implimentation of this method of treating pain could eliminate
the $50 billion dollar a year pain medication market and reduce the need
for much of the spinal surgery that is performed.
Recently in Atlanta, Georgia, I was on four television shows and
presented a three hour seminar on "Treating Chronic Pain, Headaches, and
Depression without Drugs or Surgery." I believe those who
attended now know more about the almost unknown underlying cause of all pain
(and how to treat it) than they could have learned from any medical school
or from reading every book that has been written about pain.
people at the seminar who had headaches reported that their headaches were
completely eliminated by banana peels we applied. Three others with chronic
intractable back pain, including failed spine surgery, reported immediate
and significant pain relief.
the seminar, we treated 57 chronic pain, headache, and depression patients
using, Biotape therapy, and auricular therapy. More than 50 of the
57 patients reported relief. This gives us statistical reason to believe
this approach to pain is better than a placebo.
lady who had not been able to bend over for 43 years since an accident
when she was 13 years old, was able to bend over. The improvement could
have been due solely to the "placebo effect," but we must ask, "Why in 43
years did no one else's placebo help?"
cannot make medical claims that our treatments or Biotape will diagnose,
cure, or treat any disease. This information is just anecdotal and presented
only for educational purposes.
prayer and faith healing for back pain? A recent national television program
cited one medical study which found that prayer made no difference in the
healing or recovery of patients.
to that study there are a host of studies that have found intercessory prayer
does make a difference even when the patients don't know they are being prayed
for. You can pick your study to support either side of the argument you are
on. Is it honest and objective to choose one study that
supports your thesis and throw out all of the studies that offer opposing
See the following to
learn about studies which have been published in AMA medical journals that
report a positive response to prayer
and faith in the healing process. Go to the www.mercola.com website
and then search for the article Prayer and Medical Science by Larry
Dossey, MD published in the Archives of Internal Medicine June 26, 2000.
The TV program also showed
footage about the people who go to the Lourdes shrine in France seeking a cure. Medical doctors endorsed by the
Vatican have thoroughly investigated the purported miracles
and verified only 67 legitimate miracles in the history of the Lourdes shrine out of the millions that have gone there.
(Thousands of anecdotal miracles no doubt have occurred but were not properly
investigated; so they were not considered legitimate miricles.)
It seems objective and
very scientific to accept only evidence based on double blind placebo controlled
scientific studies, but we must remember that there is nothing but anecdotal
evidence to support spinal surgery, and many other medical practices.
Quoting from the article
previously cited is the following from Larry Dossey, MD: Yale surgeon
and author Sherwin B. Nuland states, "Unlike other areas in which fads
come and go, medical styles [of practice] are meant to be supported by
irrefutable evidence. That assumption is so far off the mark that the
term 'medical science' is practically an oxymoron."
Referring to a 1978 report by the Congressional
Office of Technology Assessment, Nuland states, "no more than 15 percent
of medical interventions are supported by reliable scientific evidence."
Richard Smith, editor
of the British Medical Journal, agrees, stating, "Only about 15% of medical
interventions are supported by solid scientific evidence. . . . This is
partly because only 1% of the articles in medical journals are scientifically
sound and partly because many treatments have not been assessed at all"
(spinal surgery being one of them).
of all let us consider faith healers like the man known as John of God
in Brazil. The TV special, that questioned the legitimacy
of all faith healing, showed footage of the thousands of people who go
to this man for healing. The program did not claim he was a fraud but attempted
to explain away most of his practices. It is notable to point out that
treatments by John of God are free. He charges nothing.
famous healer from Brazil (now dead) named Arigo was investigated by teams
of medical doctors. They could find no fraud or deceit at all. He treated
up to 300 patients a day and would not accept even as much as a cup of
coffee for his services. Arigo claimed that to accept any kind of pay for
his work would take away his power to heal.
how skeptical you are, the book Arigo: Surgeon of the Rusty Knife
by John fuller is a book everyone in the health care field should read.
Another is The Cry and the Covenant (biography of Ignaz Phillip Semmelweis
by Morton Thompson. If you buy and read either of these
books and are disappointed I will personally guarantee to buy your copy
for two times what you paid for the book (used copies in hardback can run
as much as $40).
is much to be said for drinking more water with a pinch of salt as an unbelievably
effective remedy for back pain. After doing more than 18,000 documented
treatments for pain, I can say without reservation that the number one
cause of non-injury pain and the cause of injury pain that does not heal
MD, the author of two wonderful books Your Bodies Many Cries for Water
and You're Not Sick, You're Thirsty recommends drinking each day
as many ounces of water (with a pinch of salt in every glass) as half your
weight in pounds.
can read about Biotape, Bioelectric, and Auriculotherapy by going to
and reading articles number 1, 2, 4, and 6.
Reflexology, Spinal Touch Therapy, NST therapy, Reiki, Acupressure, and
EFT therapy are non-invasive variations of massage and acupuncture that
can be effective in reliving the cause of pain without side effects (in
contrast to pain medications which all have harmful side effects).
Such methods address
the root cause of pain and are helpful because they push cells closer together
and/or increase the flow of Chi which can help the body reconnect the
broken circuits that are the cause of pain.
limitation of such treatments and acupuncture is that there is nothing
to maintain the connection long enough to complete the healing. You have
to be treated again and again in contrast to Biotape or Auriculotherapy (with
seeds or pellets instead of needles) that can be more effective than having
acupuncture with needles every day for a month.
electric nerve stimulation) blocks the pain signal or fatigues the nerve
so the pain signal does not get through. Then the pain returns. Micro stimulation,
in contrast, uses a thousand times less current and can be effective in
correcting the cause of pain.
I have a
letter in my file from Norman Shealy, MD who invented TENS that he wrote
just before he retired; stating that he no longer used TENS because he knew
the effect would not last.
Spinal manipulation by
a chiropractor or osteopath is also an alternative that everyone should
consider. The same can be said for physical
therapy, and acupuncture.
The problem I have
with all of these is that such practitioners keep you coming back for
endless treatments. You don't know whether the body is healing itself
over a period of time or if the treatment is really helping you.
If a treatment
is truly addressing the underlying cause of pain, then you should be helped
with the first treatment and certainly by the second.
traction for back pain was once in vogue but is now done less frequently.
Still there are pain clinics, chiropractors and others that are now advertising
new traction devices approved by the FDA. They are claiming an 85% success
rate. Such claims are also only anecdotal and not established by double
blind placebo controlled studies.
Pain medications (over
the counter and by prescription), plus narcotics, and pain patches have
so many terrible side effects that there is not room enough here to list
them all. Because of the experience of a friend who died from the side
effects of a Duragesic (Fentanyl) patch, I must share his story.
Every pain doctor and every pain patient should read it.
to dissolve the disk were considered state-of-the-art a few years ago,
but this procedure is now seldom done because of serious neurological complications
even though the incidence of such complications were reported to be six times less than for traditional open discectomy
(also known as reconstructive or sclerotherapy is another alternative
to pain medications and spinal surgery for back pain. This consists of
injecting an irritant (sugar water solution) with a local anesthetic into
the site of pain. The irritant causes inflammation which increases the blood supply and flow of nutrients to the damaged tissue thereby
stimulating the tissue to repair itself.
downside of prolotherapy is that the body converts all local anesthetics
into aniline which is a known carcinogen. (Most doctors don't know this
but the FDA requires a cancer warning label on all new local anesthetics.)
The FDA in
1993 did studies on the anesthetic lidocaine and determined that 67% of
the lidocane injected was converted into the aniline 2,6-xylidine found
in animal studies to cause breast cancer 99.999% of the time. The
topical anesthetic Emla was pulled from the market for this
aniline 2,6-xyladine is one of the carcinogens of tobacco. Alfred Nickel,
an oral surgeon has calculated that 1cc of 2% lidocaine
will result in the same aniline dose as smoking 94,000 unfiltered
injections are also painful. Many injections (even up to a hundred) are
done in each treatment session. The average number of treatments sessions
is 4-6 for each area treated.
(steroid) injections may give temporary relief but in the long run are
harmful. Steroids dissolve nerves, bone, tendon and tissue. An orthopedic
surgeon recommended cortisone injections for athletic injuries then added
that he would inject a site up to three times a year but no more, because
more injections risked tendon rupture.
blocks of any kind, including radiowaves and/or surgery to cut the nerve
that transmits the pain signal, have severe side effects. A patient with
trigeminal-neuralgia received an alcohol nerve block. The pain was worse
after the nerve block than before; so they went into her skull and cut the
trigeminal nerve. The pain was then even more severe. She said if I don't
get help, I will kill myself, and she did.
tell horror stories about implanted electrical devices to block the pain,
but will just state here that trying to block the pain signal is wrong whether
it is done with drugs, surgery, radiowaves, or electricity. Treating the
symptom of pain by suppressing the pain signal is all they know how to
do because the root cause of pain is not known.
There is much to be said for minimally invasive arthroscopic
spinal surgery which vindicates my theory that the incision itself may
create new pain that may be as severe as the pain before surgery.
Many people who have undergone spinal laminectomies report
more pain from where the bone was removed from the hip to do the fusion
than the pain coming from the spine.
We have now considered nearly every option available
to people with back pain. If you consider the options from the dictum
First do no harm, you must rule out all pain medications
- over-the-counter and prescription drugs and narcotics. Even the extended
uses of over-the-counter pain medications can double your chance of having
a fatal heart attack.
rule out anything that destroys the nerve including cortisone or steroid
injections, implanted electrical stimulators to block the pain signal,
radio frequency surgery, nerve blocks of any kind, and cutting the nerve.
You will rule
out spinal surgery because, it is possible to be in more pain after surgery
than before. I've asked more than a thousand patients who have had back surgery
if they had it all to do over again, would they still have the surgery. The
majority say NO.
say "Yes, because I would be paralyzed if I had not had the surgery." This
could be true but too often it is used by a surgeon to convince the patient
that you must have surgery. Whether or not you should seek a second opinion
in this situation is a question that doesn't even need to be asked.
You should also
consider all of the options for back pain relief from a cost standpoint,
and at least question any treatment that requires you to go back again and
might ask the question, "Has it been proven and what is the evidence in
favor of any medicine or treatment? There are no "proven"
treatments that can legally make any claims to prevent or cure any kind
of severe pain. This includes all treatments by MD's, alternative health
care practitioners, faith healers, and quacks. Until double-blind placebo
controlled studies are done, the only evidence that any of the above can give
is only anecdotal.
people refer to evidence as "testimonials." Main-line medical doctors call
their evidence "case studies." Both are anecdotal.
only legal claim that can be made for any medication including those
approved by double blind placebo controlled studies is that the medication
is "for symptomatic relief of minor aches and pains."
prescription pain medications are "approved" by the Food and Drug Administration
for use on many kinds of pain, but "approval" does not allow for any claims
of a "cure" for pain.
this is hard to believe, go to the Physicians Desk Reference or
see the pharmaceutical insert for any drug. All you will find is "Indications"
for the medication but never the word "cure."
exists because Western medicine has never defined what pain is. When no
one knows what pain is, then no one can claim to heal pain.
like fighting a war and not knowing who the enemy is. You can never win.
Is the enemy Osama Bin Laden, Sadam Hussein,
Kim Jong Il, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Al Queda, Hamas, Al Fattah, Islamic Jihad,
Radical Islam, Iraq, Lebanon, Iran, North Korea, or is the enemy the terrorists
that blow themselves up?
at it from the other side: is the enemy the Jews, Ariel Sharon, Christians,
the Pope, United States, American solders, US Embassies, World Trade Centers,
Pentagon, Republicans, Democrats, The White House, George Bush, Dick Cheney,
Halliburton Oil, England, Tony Blair, Spanish railroads, or the Danish cartoonist?
one can win a war when both sides are unclear about whom the enemy is,
and no one can win the war on pain until we know what pain is.
would be wise to begin any approach to severe back pain with the least
expensive, the least invasive, and the least harmful of all the methods
cited. Using this advice as a guide, we submit the following (All
are unproven and unsubstantiated by double blind placebo controlled studies).
at the top of the list and don't think that simple, free, inexpensive,
and noninvasive methods are just for minor pain. The most severe, excruciating,
suicidal, pain can often be relieved with very simple measures.
Prayer and/or Faith healing
More water with a pinch of salt
Banana Peels applied over the pain
Self applied Biotape over the pain
Bioelectric and Auriculotherapy
Spinal touch therapy
Spinal Traction Devices
Over the counter medication
Nerve blocks of any kind
Cutting the nerve
Minimally invasive surgery
Implanted electrical devices
We will close
with the same statement used at the end of the TV special about healing
and pain. "You really have to look out for practitioners who give testimonials,
or offer a money back guarantee."
Maybe we should
be especially suspicious of prayer and/or faith healing (that cost nothing),
drinking more water, banana peels or someone whose treatments are free. No
need to ask for your money back.
Darrell Stoddard, Founder - Pain Research Institute
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