Investigative journalist Cathryn Jakobson Ramin suffered back pain for decades and spent a small fortune on a panoply of treatments. When her discomfort only intensified, she searched for better solutions and eventually exposed a much bigger problem. In the first half, she revealed how a $100 billion-a-year industry, spine medicine, is often ineffective and many times does a patient more harm than good. The trajectory of treatment for back pain usually starts with an MRI, and then moves to a series of epidural steroid injections, followed by physical therapy, and possibly chiropractic appointments that drag on for months or years, and then finally ending up in surgery.
Ramin contends that most of these treatments don't actually treat the cause of the problem. What she discovered was that in most cases back pain actually originates in the brain rather than the spine or back. The best way to treat the issue, she suggested, is by graded exposure to stimuli-- in other words, exercises that strengthen the back muscles. Most people are unaware of this newer methodology, she noted, and "get siphoned into the conventional approaches, which have never been successful."
Laser surgery for back pain has been touted as minimally invasive, but can be dangerous for various reasons, she cited. Also, at this time, stem cell therapy for the spine is not recommended. There are many examples of athletes who have spine surgeries, but they typically have access to rehab efforts that are not available to the average patient, she added.
Open Lines were featured in the latter half. Gary from Santa Maria, California called in to talk about hearing George's late aunt, Dr. Shafica Karagulla, the renowned parapsychology researcher, appearing on the Bill Jenkins radio show "Open Mind" in the 1980s (listen to audio here). Sammy from Okinawa, Japan spoke about the global crisis of plastic pollution clogging up the environment. Responding to a text from Jerome in Wyoming, George talked about strange places he's visited including a haunted hotel in Washington state, and the Mansfield Prison in Ohio, also thought to be haunted.
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