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1 step forward, 10 steps back

On a recent episode of Dr. Oz,  a licensed Physical Therapist  discussed 3 “Cutting-Edge” solutions to cure back pain.   They included: 1. Ultrasound  2. TigerBalm patches  3. Bumpy Ball (quoted as the single most important thing to do daily to relieve back pain).   Watching this episode made me cringe and the recommendations given could not be further away from the best available evidence in the understanding and management of low back pain.   I am quite disappointed, to say the least, by this video.  Watch it here and please comment on your thoughts…

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25 replies »

  1. Goes to show you what happens when you don’t practice using evidence based research. And also who has ultrasound at home…not gonna happen.

    • Just so all of you now you can buy ultrasound units on the Internet through Ebay and other Internet Marketing groups. You can also buy: cold lasers so if you think you’ve got to the edge of the market I would submit you don’t

  2. First, I cannot help but notice the following under the video: “Learn how you can cure your back pain without surgery!” These 3 ‘cutting edge’ techniques will ‘cure’ LBP? Perhaps I need to further my education and clinical skills…and invest in a bumpy ball. Second, while Ms. Brill does discuss components of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular health and wellness as it is related to LBP (though VERY briefly – i.e. stability, ROM, strength), she completely misses the other LARGE (and important) component – psychosocial – along with no differentiation between acute, sub-acute, chronic, inflammatory, mechanical, etc. variations. ‘1 step forward’ is being too generous.

  3. This angers me to no end. It literally destroys all that we are trying to do by being evidenced based clinicians…at least she showed a decent core exercises at the end..she kind of did a modified dead bug which is great for lower back endurance

    But the ultrasound thing….shhheeeshh

  4. I’d be embarrassed as a clinician to demonstrate that on such a large stage, or any stage for that manner. Im curious where Dr Oz gets his “experts” from. Who plans on using tiger balm to treat LBP? I can’t say it would be a list of 500 ways to help. She just showed a good way waste time. And then she doesn’t even know the name of the muscle she’s trying to exercise! Geez!

  5. This is a bunch of B.S. I’m sorry, but as a Doctor of Physical Therapy that specializes in Spinal Dysfunction and Chronic Pain, I can’t help to comment on how much of a disservice you are doing for our profession and the general public. You won’t find this supported anywhere in the current literature for low back pain. No wonder we continue to spend more than 1% of our GDP annually on low back pain care. Such nonsesne. I wonder how much “Bumpy Ball” and Tiger Balm paid to have their products endorsed on this show. And then to just throw in ultrasound as the other “Cutting Edge Solution…” SMH

  6. Looks like we are going to be getting a lot more patients coming through our doors! Yes, I get annoyed with these kind of quick solutions but here’s our opportunity to do some educating as well.

  7. http://brillpt.com/staff

    No research to support any intervention discussed….

    She’s a private practice owner in New York. They have enough problems getting reimbursement. She’s attempting to show those folks in NYC all the modalities she can bill for. Now they’ll show up asking for useless interventions and she can make a buck or two.

    She’s actually board certifieid in orthopedics by the APTA. So sad….

  8. Does this mean I can start billing for Tiger Balm patches? I only need to treat a patient for 5 minutes? Then, even if I was an ultrasound fan, using it across then entire back never fit in with the parameters prescribed. This is my biggest frustration with colleagues…not knowing why we do the things we do. I’m not sure if it’s taking steps backwards, but it’s definitely not taking any steps forward. I guess some people will have to be dragged forward

  9. I can’t imagine what would motivate a professional to make claims like this, or what cave they’ve been practicing in for the last 10+ years if they actually practice what they’re preaching. I heard a short clip on the radio this morning citing the large percentage of people who (incorrectly) self-diagnose a myriad of conditions using “Dr. Google”. It’s frustrating to no end how much the general public relies on television and the internet to “cure” their conditions, rather than consulting with an actual professional who can put together their history and prescribe a specific treatment. Then when the tiger balms and bumpy balls shockingly don’t prove effective, trying to deprogram patients who come in and tell you the advice they received from Dr. Oz, that’s an entirely new challenge than the patient who actually respects your professional opinion. The rest of us just need to educate our patients and the public as much as we can, and as Will said, drag the rest forward.

  10. This made me so pissed off when I watched this video. This is what I mean when I talk with other PT’s and say “as a collective profession we are the main ones holding ourselves back.” Not to say we’re all like that, which I absolutely know isn’t true. However things like this, done physical therapists, going against everything we know from the research, is what I mean by that statement. Absolutely ridiculous, I’m actually contemplating trying to contact the show and let him know that the stuff he’s putting on his show is crap.

    • I would gladly sign a petition of some sorts voicing the displeasure of this segment and that it has done the public as a whole a great disservice.

  11. how is Brill OCS and still promoting this? Is she a rep for TigerBalm and BumpyBalls? I tried to find evidence of this, but couldn’t, so I am just theorizing what would motivate someone to go against what they should know is right.

  12. A patient just told me she was considering “buying an on-line ultrasound unit from Mexico” for her knee pain. Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, Dr. Seus—all the same to me!

  13. Here is a letter from the APTA Media Corps to a colleague who voiced some questions and concerns about her appearance on the program:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    I can appreciate and fully understand your concerns with respect to the Dr. Oz interview about “Cutting-Edge Solutions for Back Pain” that featured APTA member and spokesperson Peggy Brill. First, I’d like to be sure you are aware of the fact that APTA hadno involvement in arranging or prepping Peggy Brill for this interview. Peggy is Dr. Oz’s physical therapist and friend. She was contacted directly by his show about this opportunity.

    We agree that Peggy missed an opportunity to educate a national viewing audience about a physical therapist’s expertise in treating low back pain, using the best available evidence, which is frustrating to us all. With that said, and to be fair, none of us can really know exactly what Peggy actually said during the segment as the show is prerecorded and was likely edited before airing. Whatever the case may be, I do know her intention wasn’t to harm the profession or trivialize it in any way.

    APTA PR staff will be taking up this issue up with Peggy directly and re-training her, and the entire Media Corps, on how to appropriately respond during media interviews in February. We will make it clear to her that she must do a much better job of representing both the profession and APTA.

    Thank you,

    Erin Wendel
    Senior Media Relations Specialist
    American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
    erinwendel@apta.org
    Phone: 703-706-3397 | Fax: 703-706-3169
    Learn more at http://www.moveforwardpt.com

  14. I agree with everyone. So ridiculous to think this treatment would be beneficial. And so sad that people will actually think that cures them because of who said it! It’s going to take forever to un-do this thanks to who said it.

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