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.
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]