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.
David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Learning a new language will give your resume an upgrade, sure, but it will also provide a huge cognitive boost for mental tasks outside of translation and conversation. Bilingual brains have been shown to be better at handling multiple concurrent tasks, and gaining fluency in a new tongue is an amazing way to improve memory, […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]