A Duke University study has concluded that back pain costs the US economy $90 billion a year.
"To put these expenses in perspective, the total $90 billion spent in 1998 represented 1 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the $26 billion in direct back pain costs accounted for 2.5 percent of all health care expenditures for that year," said lead researcher Xuemei Luo, Ph.D., who published the results of the Duke study today (Jan. 1, 2004) in the journal Spine.
OK, here's a thing: from the age of 17, right up until September 2002, I suffered from really bad back pain. I would spend a couple days a month laid up on the sofa, unable to move, and I'd go through a couple bottles of over-the-counter pain meds a month. I developed chemical burns on my back from overuse of "deep heat" patches and Tiger Balm. I saw a doctor who told me that I would likely need to have my spine fused.
Then I read this really weird, hippy-trippy book by
Richard John Sarno, a guy who appears to be to back pain what Atkins was to dieting a couple years back, a fringe researcher with no independent verification of his results and a slightly suspect, "They laughed at me in Vienna, I'll show them all" affect that makes it hard to take his stuff seriously.
Sarno advocates a kind of self-hypnosis or self-interrogation to relieve the mental causes of back pain, and states that it works even if you don't believe in it. Well, I tried it. 24h later, I began the single longest period of pain-free living in my adult life. I haven't been laid up in over a year now, and I take painkillers for headaches, not back-aches.
Your mileage may vary, but after more than a year of this, I'm ready to start talking about it. Like Atkins for weight loss and hypnosis for smoking cessation, Sarnoid back-therapy feels something like getting root on my body, like being able to move into user-controlled space stuff that the OS was badly mismanaging in the background.
At The Malware Musuem you can enjoy the experience of DOS-era viruses, trojans and other digital beasties without any of the risk. Many of them manifested as wild graphical tricks and other spectacular coding feats, distracting you as they formatted hard drives or corrupted files. The Malware Museum is a collection of malware programs, usually […]
Neglected public payphones in New York City are being turned into “GuyFi” stations: a place where one can rub one out for the sake of “stress relief.” Annalee Newitz reports on the wank booths from a company named “Hot Octopus”… The company reported that at least 100 men used the booth on its opening day […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
If you’ve been blessed enough to avoid them yourself, you’ve definitely heard the horror stories. Late night, crushing out a ton of work, writing, coding, anything, then boom – your computer crashes. The battery blows, you spill water or coffee all over the place, or it just shuts down with no explanation, and you’re screwed. […]
You travel around a lot. It might be that jet set life from New York to LA to London to Tokyo, or it might be back and forth from the coffee shop to the office, or from the kitchen to the couch. Any which way, you’re mobile and that’s the way to live. When you […]
It’s 2016 and we like our technology really small. Our phones fit in our pockets, our remotes are lighter than ever, and even our cars seem to be shrinking. So your new drone shouldn’t be an exception. This Axis VIDIUS Drone is 21% off right now and it’s so little, your biggest problem won’t be […]