Can a few zaps a day keep the pain away?

A useful article written by one of my Summer Vacation research assistants, Abdullah Sheriffdeen: ‘Can a few zaps a day keep the pain away?

Abdullah spent the summer of 2019 following up complaints sent to the Therapeutic Good Administration (TGA) which had been classified as ‘low risk’ and ‘closed’ by the regulator by sending a Regulatory Obligations letter to the advertiser. Complaints about Pain Erazor and the Pain®Gone pen were two pain-zapping products he reviewed.  As expected, the TGA educational letter (which states that no further action will be taken) had no effect on ongoing promotion.

So, can a few zaps a day keep the pain away? With the exception of a possible placebo response, the answer is NO. Also, the Prime Minister might say, ‘How good is the TGA!’. We say, ‘There is considerable room for improvement!’

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About Dr Ken Harvey

Public Health Physician, Medical activitist
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2 Responses to Can a few zaps a day keep the pain away?

  1. James says:

    Living with pain is a horribly debilitating thing, how many Australian’s have had opiates shoved down there throat & are now reliant on a lifetime of big phrama opiates?

    Sadly many doctors are either to lazy or just simply too old to believe in trying something new! What does not work for one, doesn’t mean it wont work for all!

    Sadly i feel it’s because of doctors like you why Australia is stuck in the dark ages when it comes to medicine and treating its ill.

    Placing chronic pain sufferers in the too hard basket and signing them away to a lifetime of big pharma opioids, pharmacutically addicted!

    But strangely for some its devices like these, which mysteriously seem to work for them, it twigs there brain in some weird way and it somehow gives them that slightest bit of relief that they need, in order to regain some quality of life back.

    There is scientific evidence, but when that fails then its time to venture outside the box and try something new!

    What else do You have to lose!

    • Dear James,

      I agree that living with pain is debilitating and opiates are overused with often disastrous consequences.

      I also agree that people may find that treatments that lack evidence nevertheless work for them. There are a number of reasons why this might be so including:

      • The placebo effect (patient’s expectation regarding an intervention),
      • The natural history of disease (symptoms may wax and wane),
      • Confirmation bias (seeing what you expect to see),
      • Cognitive dissonance (ignoring results not in accord with expectations) and
      • Endorsement by “celebrities” who receive undisclosed multi-million payments (be especially suspicious).

      Regardless, it is a breach of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code and Australian Consumer Law to make claims for a therapeutic good that cannot be substantiated. This is why I have complained about these devices. If it works for you, that’s ok by me.

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