Five Days of Fallacies: Day 3, Irrelevant Appeals

Five Days of Fallacies: Day 1 here, Day 2 here, Day 4 here, Day 5 here. I am discussing some common mistakes we humans make in reasoning, in the hope that you can 1) Understand what they are 2) Recognize them when others speak 3) Recognize them when you think this way 4) Attempt to correct your thinking on old, current and future ideas.

Irrelevant Appeals are seen often when someone is trying to persuade you. This can be during an argument, debate, casual discussion, sales pitch, etc. The irrelevance is to the point at hand, it may seem like an important retort, however, it has no bearing on the facts. Some examples:

Appeal to Antiquity: The idea is valid, because it has been around for a long time. “This is traditional natural medicine, it was done this way for 2,000 years,of course it’s valid.” Well, many old ideas and practices are bad. The antiquity of an idea has no bearing on it’s usefulness. Bloodletting, lobotomies, acupuncture, essential oils, they are all old, right?

Appeal to Novelty: The opposite of above. “The newest thoughts on how to treat X are ABC.” The newness is irrelevant, but it seems better, right? Continue reading

Five Days of Fallacies: Day 2, Complex Question

Five Days of Fallacies: Day 1 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 here, Day 5 here. I am discussing some common mistakes we humans make in reasoning, in the hope that you can 1) Understand what they are 2) Recognize them when others speak 3) Recognize them when you think this way 4) Attempt to correct your thinking on old, current and future ideas.

The Complex Question Fallacy is in the family of Fallacies of Presumption. It makes assumptions, thereby defining the conversation and the result of the outcome, when asking a question.

An easy example of this is seen here: “When are you going to admit that you lied?” You cannot say “Right now” because that is an admittance of lying. If you say “Never!” you uphold the assumption that you lied, and that you are just not admitting it. Lose lose.

How does this show up in the clinic? Continue reading

Five Days of Fallacies: Day 1, Post Hoc

Five Days of Fallacies, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 here, Day 5 hereI am going to share some common mistakes we humans make in reasoning, in the hope that you can 1) Understand what they are 2) Recognize them when others speak 3) Recognize them when you think this way 4) Attempt to correct your thinking on old, current and future ideas.

Let’s start with one of the biggest logical fallacies: Post Hoc, Ergo Proctor Hoc.  “After this, therefore, because of this.” Affectionately known as Post Hoc, for short.

We make a mistake in seeing a causal connection between things when one action/event follows another certain action or event. This is where you get the “rain dance” from.

You did a rain dance, the next day it rained. Boom! Therefore, your dance caused the rain. Oops…Post Hoc! This is where chiropractic Continue reading

The Thousand Word Image

There is no more credible a thing than an image. Seeing is believing. I’ll have to see it to believe it. A picture is worth a thousand words. Vision trumps other senses (McGurk Effect).

How are the words you choose to use, in the healing context of your presence, going to combat the fact that it has been visually shown that things are “messed up in there” ?

It is not our fault, us humans. Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen developed this lovely technology. About a month later, humans were using it clinically.  It is amazing. And I mean X-ray, CT-scans, MRI, fMRI, UltraSound… it’s all incredible. It was developed so we used it. We used it on people in pain, people with broken limbs, people with ailments of this nature or another, and that is the vantage point from which our opinions were based. We saw people with pain have strange looking images. We therefore conclude, that the changes we saw were the cause of the pain, and here we are today.

Post Hoc, Ergo Proctor Hoc. After this, therefore because of this. It is all in the development of the tool. We pointed our delicate and precise imaging tools at the sick, and we found sickness. Continue reading

The Crossroads of Philosophy and Physiology (Part 2): Where We Missed the Mark on Pain Education.

 

college-classroom

And you’d be surprised… the answer goes further back than you might think.

So if you read Part 1, we left with a series of questions — all boiling around the conundrum of what I will call “the pain education lag.” This can be defined as the time it takes for the education to take an effect (i.e. reduction of aberrant pain). Essentially, you provide a treatment, but it’s possible for no effect to be seen immediately (and its also highly likely for this to occur in such a delayed fashion). And this is something that is significant. Other treatment effects take place immediately. Yet, with pain education Continue reading

Let’s take a look at your X-Ray: A Case Story

It was his 3rd visit in for his back pain, but it was the first time I had seen him. I ask how he’s feeling that day.

“I’m hurting, not much different since last time. I’ve had back pain for 5 years, it’s gotten worse in the last 3. I had an X-ray by a gastroenterologist done a few years ago and she saw my spine on the image. She asked if I had back pain.  I said ‘yes, yes I do.’ She said she could tell, because my lower vertebrae were fused together, L4 or 5 or something. She said I’d have back pain for the rest of my life because of it. I’m about a 5-6/10 pain today.”

It was the same story he’s told to every practitioner, over and over again. I know because Continue reading

Solving Uncertainty

\What does the search for certainty do to us as clinicians?

In searching for answers we are picking up patterns that let us go past that initial uncertainty.

And so Evidenced Based Practice serves this role… to solve the uncertainty.

We look to research to let us know unbiased truths.  Hey, this patient is not responding today, but if I stay the course science supports that I will see some improvement.

We can look to clinical training or algorithms to help us along. For example Continue reading

Searching for Certainty

This past week I had a few instances that made me feel quite inadequate as a therapist. The first was a patient with knee pain and the other was a patient with neck pain. In both visits I managed to use up everything I knew, every decision path and subsequent treatment solution. And I got… no within session change.

Dammit.

As it happens I was stuck with the uncertainty of their treatments, their prognosis, and the uncertainty of my ability to be effective. I knew what bothered them, I thought I knew Continue reading

V O M I T

VOMIT-Poster-2014-SAMPLE

After a few weeks back in the out patient physical therapy setting I am re-confronted with the pathoanatomical-ness of diagnosis.

The battle for language and context of explanation rages on: full strength, full power, full speed.  Whew, just trying to hang on. Daily I must combat the destructive thoughts of a fragile body, or a decaying joint, a shredded tendon, or a tear from here to there.

Sometimes it is very true. Others not. But trying to de-fixate an individual’s thoughts off of the negativity of their structures is unaided by visual proof that they are internally “disfigured.”

Continue reading