Funny things happen when you stay up too late with the television on in the background. You periodically hear something that grabs your attention, and even though you are so certain that you misheard, you look up and pay attention to the television for a while to find out what you really heard.
Last night, while updating a couple of programs for this morning (the ultimate last minute), I heard Dr. Ho state that Dr. Stu McGill did testing with his muscle stimulating pain relief system and that he found it to be effective. Wait, what?
I looked up in time to see a photo of Dr. McGill in a lab environment in the background of the infomercial. Seriously? My next thought was that this was marketing trickery, but I couldn’t let it go, so I went to Google for more.
I was pretty shocked to find this,
Stuart M. McGill, PhD
Professor of Spine Biomechanics
University of Waterloo, Canada
Granted, it is hosted on Dr. Ho’s site, so maybe it’s a fake. But it reads like Dr. McGill’s work (I’ve been re-reading Low Back Disorders lately). From the report:
“In our investigations on various scientific issues related to back pain we were apprised of the Dr Ho’s device. Specifically in our work with the device on patients, we did quantify reductions in perceived pain as claimed by the manufacturer. However, given the subjective nature of data obtained from pain scales, we were motivated to find “hard” evidence obtained with instrumentation. We were successful in being able to find two phenomena
measurable with instruments – specifically we observed reductions in muscle spasm (using electromyography) and increases in muscle oxygenation (using Near Infra-red Spectroscopy). “
“For example traditional TENS units typically output a singular pattern that does not change although the stimulating strength is adjusted for a patient by altering the peak to peak voltage, or the current intensity. In contrast, the Dr Ho’s device outputs a pre-programmed sequence of stimulating pulse patterns that appears to be quite effective for the therapeutic claims made. “
“Debate continues as to the mechanism of action of TENS. Current
hypotheses are dominated by the notion that TENS decreases the sensitivity of
pain-sensing nerve fibers. Our work shows that the sophisticated modulated
patterns of the Dr Ho’s stimulation device reduces muscle spasm and increases
oxygenation suggesting that the pain-spasm cycle is reduced.”
I’m really not sure what to make of this. Except that I still find it unbelievable that what I’ve always perceived as infomercial trash might actually have some merit. Still shocked.
Elsbeth Vaino is a personal trainer in Ottawa, Canada, who places great value in Dr. Stuart McGill’s teachings, and incorporates much of it into her training approach. Will Dr. Ho’s be the next new toy at Custom Strength?