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Saturday, 12 October 2013

Clot busting simulations test potential stroke treatment

Researchers are using computer simulations to investigate how ultrasound and tiny bubbles injected into the bloodstream might break up blood clots, limiting the damage caused by a stroke in its first hours.
Strokes are the most common cause of long-term disability in the U.S. and the third most common cause of death. More than 795,000 Americans suffer a stroke every year, which happens when a clot blocks an artery or blood vessel and restricts blood flow to the brain. The longer the clot stays intact, the more brain tissue dies, the higher the chance of severe damage, and the lower a victim’s chance of survival.
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Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy: does the scientific literature support efficacy claims made in the advertising media?


Traction therapy has been utilized in the treatment of low back pain for decades. The most recent incarnation of traction therapy is non-surgical spinal decompression therapy which can cost over $100,000. This form of therapy has been heavily marketed to manual therapy professions and subsequently to the consumer. The purpose of this paper is to initiate a debate pertaining to the relationship between marketing claims and the scientific literature on non-surgical spinal decompression.


Only one small randomized controlled trial and several lower level efficacy studies have been performed on spinal decompression therapy. In general the quality of these studies is questionable. Many of the studies were performed using the VAX-D® unit which places the patient in a prone position. Often companies utilize this research for their marketing although their units place the patient in the supine position.


Only limited evidence is available to warrant the routine use of non-surgical spinal decompression, particularly when many other well investigated, less expensive alternatives are available.