It is time we accept that in this day and age, most people feel that when they visit a medical professional with a complaint the doctor shrugs and says "It's a mystery, let's run some tests." Those test results come back and the doctor shrugs and says "It's a mystery, let's send you to a specialist." The Specialist shrugs and says "It's a mystery, let's try some meds." The meds don't work, and cause side effects - which in turn restarts the cycle of doctor visits, shrugs, specialists, and more meds ad infinitum. In fact, it is this very reason (this iatrogenic, medicine is still a complete guessing game with results no better than superstition reality) why so many people choose Not to seek treatment despite paying more for health insurance than it would cost to buy a brand new 55" inch 4k TV every month.
This scenario is especially true when it comes to pain management. Pain is a hot topic in entertainment - various forms of it and its various treatments have killed or debilitated many from star athletes to Michael Jackson and Prince. So, I was pretty excited to test out a device called Vibracool. Vibracool is what's called "Massaging Ice Therapy." It is a non-narcotic solution and hard to imagine any side effects. I didn't try it out on myself - even though I get the occasional guitar player version of tennis elbow, it's not that bad. Instead, I know someone whose arm pain is a real problem for her and has gone years of rounds visiting shrugging doctors.
Here is a video of what's in the Vibracool box and how it was applied to the arm:
She liked the ice feeling, it numbed her arm pretty quickly. But then she asked, "Do I need this buzzing device? I just like the cooling effect." And the answer is, "Of course! Otherwise you might as well just use an ice pack." So she committed to trying it. Vibracool suggests that if you use the device Consistently for a reasonable period of time, your pain problem will be decreased. As a pre-workout routine, you can reduce DOMS (which personally I love my post workout soreness, but if you have a specific issue area I can see this as being extremely useful).
So I checked in after a week to see how things were going. I asked, "Is the vibracool working, do you notice a general pain reduction after the first few days of use?" - and her response? "Oh, I forget to use it. My arm hurts."
And therein lies the Other problem of medicine. How many people do we know that can't take their cholesterol meds consistently, or even their short-term round of antibiotics as directed, or keep up with an exercise/diet routine. Almost EVERYBODY! Expecting Americans to behave in a consistent and disciplined manner outside of their already set routine is Unrealistic and Unreasonable. Therefore, a solution that requires consistency and discipline is not a solution at all - even when it comes to Pain. Even though NSAIDs don't actually work, how many people do you know that take them anyway and continue to complain about their pain? Almost EVERYBODY! It was brought to my attention, however, that a professional athlete may be consistent in treatment methods and usage, and I imagine that if you are a professional musician in a "Mozart in the Jungle" situation you'd be crazy not to use a device as directed if it promises to solve a problem that if discovered could ruin your career.
So, I hope if the medical community is reading this there are Two Big Takeaways:
1) Understand that as patients, it is hard for us accept the gap between the all-knowing-doctor image you portray vs. the actual level of Mystery involved in diagnosis and treatment. Which ultimately dilutes the confidence in what comes next,
2) MORE IMPORTANTLY: Any course of treatment that requires consistency and discipline on the part of a human being is unrealistic. It is easy to blame the patient by saying "they didn't do what I told them to" but what you told them to do is often the equivalent of telling a poor person that the solution to their problems is to get rich. A focus on trying to figure out one-off treatments that you administer to the patient during a visit, as monumental as that sounds, is actually a more realistically achieved objective than changing the core nature of all of human behavior.
THAT BEING SAID:
Let's get back to Vibracool. If you have arm/knee/ankle/wrist/neck/foot style pain, and feel that you can in fact use this device on a regular basis, I believe it holds great promise and you'll love it! You can get one here: http://amzn.to/2kmb8XG