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Thread: Clear - Even lay parents are eating their lunch

  1. #1
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    Clear - Even lay parents are eating their lunch

    http://www.fixscoliosis.com/threads/...=2469#post2469

    Michael1960 just delivered a definitive rebuttal to Stitzel in every way, shape, form, etc. etc. etc.

    We already established that evidence-based chiros eat Clear's lunch. Now we have established that lay parents can also.

    I congratulate Michael1960 on his thought process, intellectual ability, talent for logic, attention to detail, ability to construct a compelling argument, walling off avenues of escape, etc. etc. etc.

    Simply superb. I genuflect in his general direction.

    I rest my case.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  2. #2
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    And Morningstar (evidence-based chiro) weighs in!!

    Does Clear claim to be evidence-based? If not, why not? To read fix's site it is very apparent that Clear is not evidence-based.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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    Interesting read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elisa View Post
    Interesting read.
    Isn't Michael1960 just so intellectually dreamy?!?!?!
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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    He'd make a fantastic lawyer that is for sure. I would just hope he'd be for me and not against.

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    At this point, working only a fraction of the time that Clear has been around and only with one patient, Michael1960 has amassed more data than all the Clear guys combined. And he has successfully crunched it in a defensible manner.

    Now compare and contrast that with Clear claims that include:

    1. Scoliosis can be cured with a modified hand-held jigsaw run up and down the spine (a claim made on video that can be viewed).

    2. a vibrating traction chair makes any sense whatsoever for helping with scoliosis.

    3. surgery doesn't address cosmesis AT ALL. The head of "research" at Clear recently made that claim saying that if a patient was told fusion would improve appearance, they were being lied to. (This one is pure "geniusry"!)

    And the key point here is there is not a lick of evidence for any of this Clear nonsense. And they don't want to be judged on results by the way. I wonder why.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  7. #7
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    Here's a thread talking about that video...

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=9545

    The link to the video has changed from what it was in that thread. It is

    http://www.precision-spine.com/testimonials/

    3:19 - Modified hand held jigsaw "explained."

    4:56 - Claims their techniques (hand-held jigsaw being one part) can cure scoliosis.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  8. #8
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    More lunch eating

    http://www.fixscoliosis.com/threads/...based-medicine

    I am going to bullet out Michael1960's pertinent questions and report back if Stitzel answers any of them. These questions are:

    1. What study or evidence is available that I can read that shows CLEAR works, and that it continues to work for the child into adulthood?

    2. How long has CLEAR been in existence? How many patients (JIS or AIS) are now adults?

    3. What are the results of 5-10 years into adulthood? Let's assume we need results of an AIS child, with an aggressive curve, who is now at least 20-25 years old. Has CLEAR been around long enough to present studies on this (compared to the numerous bracing studies).

    4. If there is a study, by CLEAR Institute, or some other organization, is there an independent study to validate it? Often the creators of a treatment have a valid study, only to have it invalidated by an independent study. And the independent study is the one that seems to get the most credit for being right. For example, I know you have made references to Weiss regarding the SpineCor study.

    5. Is there data/study that shows an aggressive curve of an AIS (10-12 yr olds), maybe 35-45+ degrees, how much the curve was reduced, and what happened as he or she went through the growth spurt years (maybe 11-13 for girls, maybe 13-16 for boys). And was the reduction maintained? What kind of treatment was required before and after the growth spurt? And what are the results the following years into adulthood? For bracing, many of these questions are answered, and unfortunately, not many good results. But can CLEAR claim positive results in comparison to bracing, VBS, or any other treatment? With no study, it is hard to validate and/or compare CLEAR to other treatment methods.

    6. Also, with CLEAR, it would be good to see results based on 2 week intensive programs and home exercises versus an onging weekly treatment program throughout the year and home exercises. Does this exist? What is your opinion on what is most effective?

    7. What is success defined by CLEAR? How would you define a successful CLEAR treatment of an AIS patient? curve reduction, stop curve progression, avoid surgery, reduce pain, etc.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  9. #9
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    Clear

    Pooka1 and Elisa

    Thank you for the kind words. As you can see I was a bit frustrated with Dr. Stitzel that he could possibly conclude, with great conviction, that bracing adds no value to the treatment of a JIS child. The purpose of my response to him was not to criticize the methods and techniques used by CLEAR but Dr. Stitzel's position on bracing (and I think the CLEAR Institute has the same position on bracing).

    Many on NSF forum have seen a 70%-75% curve reduction for JIS children through bracing: SpineCor, Boston, Cheneau. It has not been brace dependent. And I have talked/chatted with many of these parents because they all have girls around the age of 7-9 (same as my daughter).

    If a 30-35 deg curve in a JIS patient can be reduced to 10-15 deg, and held through the growth spurt with bracing (ideally part-time bracing), and into adulthood, will it remain there and not progress over time? We don't know. But we don't know it for any other treatment either.

    As a parent of a 9 yr. old daughter, it is a blessing to see a curve stabilize. But it is absolutely amazing and wonderful to see it reduce. When we started all of this we were told the curve could not be reduced, only stabilized (at 36 deg). And today, at 18-20 deg, we have proven that wrong. But many before us have proven it wrong.

    However, with all of that said, and with some time spent on the other forum, and with our own experience with CLEAR, I would conclude the following:

    1. CLEAR (Clear Institute, Dr. Stitzel), ARC3D (Dr. Morningstar), etc. are programs that have been created for non-surgical treatment of scoliosis.

    2. Within each of these programs, the doctors/chiropractors have decided on a set of methods or techniques to treat scoliosis. But we can assume that these methods and techniques may vary by doctor/chiropractor even within these programs, based on what else the doctor/chiropractor has learned and believes is best for the treatment of scoliosis. And many of these methods or techniques do not belong to CLEAR or ARC3D, but to others who have created them. I assume there are some exceptions. I don't think most readers understand that these methods or techniques have been around before CLEAR and ARC3D. But CLEAR and ARC3D have created programs that make use of these different methods and techniques. At least this is my understanding and I would welcome CLEAR and/or ARC3D to comment on that statement so that all have a better and more accurate understanding.

    3. Therefore, many of the methods or techniques for the treatment of scoliosis are the same across some of these non-surgical programs. If nothing else, many are using the same type of equipment.

    4. However, with that said, there are some significant differences. The first and foremost is CLEAR's position that there is little to no value in bracing. This is not just Dr. Stitzel, but those who started CLEAR and most who practice CLEAR (not all who practice CLEAR), see little to no value in bracing.

    5. On the other hand, ARC3D, which may use some of the same methods or techniques of CLEAR, supports bracing, and with the Cheneau brace. This may be the best brace now in the US for scoliosis, so it is exciting to see ARC3D including it in their program. And, there is at least one CLEAR doctor/chiropractor, and he is the one that we have chosen as a member of our "scoliosis team", that also supports bracing, the SpineCor brace. ARC3D also supports trunk rotation exercises. I like ARC3D because it has brought together several non-surgical methods, many that have proven to be successful.

    Dr. Stitzel, and the CLEAR Institute, are welcome to their own theory on the treatment of scoliosis. I think they are doing some work that is very good and very promising with regards to non-surgical treatment.

    However, I would very much wish the institute, as well as Dr. Stitzel, would quit referencing all the studies (and some are out of date and no longer relevant) that show other treatments do not work. It appears that the marketing strategy of CLEAR is to convince all readers that if all other non-surgical (and surgical) treatments are not effective, and in some cases harmful, then a person has no choice but to go with the one program that has not been proven to be ineffective and harmful. The only problem with that is there are no studies on CLEAR, at least no published studies, and no independent studies. Therefore, there are no studies showing whether CLEAR is effective OR... not effective and harmful.

    I have not seen any published studies from CLEAR on the effectiveness of the CLEAR program. However, it does not mean it does not work, but I would like to recommend to anyone practicing CLEAR to quit using all the other studies to prove all other treatments (surgical or non-surgical) are ineffective and/or harmful. And I would recommend CLEAR produce/publish its results so that we, parents and individuals, can then compare CLEAR to other treatments, including bracing, VBS, etc.

    I want to make sure anyone reading this understands, that I believe in the methods used by CLEAR, I just don't believe that it is the only solution for a child. We, Syd and I, will continue to see the doctor/chiropractor that we have been seeing, who is trained in CLEAR, and trained in other methods, and he will continue to be one of the most trusted individuals that I know with regard to Syd's treatment for scoliosis.

    There is nothing wrong with being trained in CLEAR and following the CLEAR methods and techniques. Many of them have been proven way before CLEAR was created. My recommendation to others is to find a doctor/chiropractor that is trained in many different non-surgical methods and techniques, is open to considering all treatments, and is willing to put together, and work with you, on developing and implementing the best scoliosis treatment program. And will not only work with you, but will recommend and be willing to work with your pediatric orthopedic surgeon.

    I am still waiting for the day that somebody puts the chiropractor and the pediatric orthopedic surgeon in the same office and they work together to develop a scoliosis treatment program for the good of the patient.

    Thanks Again

    Mike
    Last edited by michael1960; 11-21-2010 at 06:58 AM.

  10. #10
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    First and foremost, I want to personally thank you for singlehandedly stopping Mark Morningstar's arterial end bleed with your response to Stitzel. You have likely saved his life and the world needs more, not less, evidence-based chiros if they are ever going to try to show there is a "there" there with chiro.

    Quote Originally Posted by michael1960 View Post
    Pooka1 and Elisa

    Thank you for the kind words. As you can see I was a bit frustrated with Dr. Stitzel that he could possibly conclude, with great conviction, that bracing adds no value to the treatment of a JIS child. The purpose of my response to him was not to criticize the methods and techniques used by CLEAR but Dr. Stitzel's position on bracing (and I think the CLEAR Institute has the same position on bracing).
    Chiros are not trained in research and so make many incorrect conclusions because they were not trained how to approach the literature, design experiments, etc. etc. etc. Your frustration is Morningstar's frustration (chiro but he pulled himself up by his bootstraps apparently) is my frustration. etc.

    Many on NSF forum have seen a 70%-75% curve reduction for JIS children through bracing: SpineCor, Boston, Cheneau. It has not been brace dependent. And I have talked/chatted with many of these parents because they all have girls around the age of 7-9 (same as my daughter).
    Just reading the testimonials and in my opinion, there is enough anecdote now to pursue much more bracing studies in JIS. I think a problem is that the population of JIS cases is a fraction of that of AIS cases so it may be hard to justify from that standpoint.

    If a 30-35 deg curve in a JIS patient can be reduced to 10-15 deg, and held through the growth spurt with bracing (ideally part-time bracing), and into adulthood, will it remain there and not progress over time? We don't know. But we don't know it for any other treatment either.
    As far as I can tell, the most supportable paradigm is that if you can get a kid through the growth spurt at 30* or less, the chances of progression over a lifetime are very small. The wildcard is are these people with small scoliosises (10* - 30*) headed for earlier/worse ancillary back issues that everyone eventually gets in old age.

    As a parent of a 9 yr. old daughter, it is a blessing to see a curve stabilize. But it is absolutely amazing and wonderful to see it reduce. When we started all of this we were told the curve could not be reduced, only stabilized (at 36 deg). And today, at 18-20 deg, we have proven that wrong. But many before us have proven it wrong.
    The testimonials of reduction and complete correction (and overcorrection in one case) of JIS brace cases are compelling in my opinion.

    However, with all of that said, and with some time spent on the other forum, and with our own experience with CLEAR, I would conclude the following:

    1. CLEAR (Clear Institute, Dr. Stitzel), ARC3D (Dr. Morningstar), etc. are programs that have been created for non-surgical treatment of scoliosis.
    Yes and they may never need to pony up any evidence to stay in business. They can exist and then some on the fear of surgery in the populace. This is a problem in my opinion.

    2. Within each of these programs, the doctors/chiropractors have decided on a set of methods or techniques to treat scoliosis. But we can assume that these methods and techniques may vary by doctor/chiropractor even within these programs, based on what else the doctor/chiropractor has learned and believes is best for the treatment of scoliosis. And many of these methods or techniques do not belong to CLEAR or ARC3D, but to others who have created them. I assume there are some exceptions. I don't think most readers understand that these methods or techniques have been around before CLEAR and ARC3D. But CLEAR and ARC3D have created programs that make use of these different methods and techniques. At least this is my understanding and I would welcome CLEAR and/or ARC3D to comment on that statement so that all have a better and more accurate understanding.

    3. Therefore, many of the methods or techniques for the treatment of scoliosis are the same across some of these non-surgical programs. If nothing else, many are using the same type of equipment.
    Yes and Pettibon is suing Clear over intellectual property issues as we speak. I predict this case will get thrown out of court when the defendants simply point out that there is no intellectual content.

    However, I would very much wish the institute, as well as Dr. Stitzel, would quit referencing all the studies (and some are out of date and no longer relevant) that show other treatments do not work.
    Stitzel clearly does not know how to approach the literature. His method is to cherry pick articles to support any preconceived position. And he doesn't even understand some of those articles based on what he states about them. That's not how it's done. You have to consider the articles that don't support your position and see where they might be false. The Clear guys with their comments about the literature and surgery are like the Keystone Cops of chiro.

    It appears that the marketing strategy of CLEAR is to convince all readers that if all other non-surgical (and surgical) treatments are not effective, and in some cases harmful, then a person has no choice but to go with the one program that has not been proven to be ineffective and harmful. The only problem with that is there are no studies on CLEAR, at least no published studies, and no independent studies. Therefore, there are no studies showing whether CLEAR is effective OR... not effective and harmful.
    Again, I think all Clear has to do is keep dipping into the gaping, yawning well of fear of surgery that already exists out there. That they stoke it further is unconscionable in my opinion.

    I have not seen any published studies from CLEAR on the effectiveness of the CLEAR program. However, it does not mean it does not work, but I would like to recommend to anyone practicing CLEAR to quit using all the other studies to prove all other treatments (surgical or non-surgical) are ineffective and/or harmful. And I would recommend CLEAR produce/publish its results so that we, parents and individuals, can then compare CLEAR to other treatments, including bracing, VBS, etc.
    They apparently produced a study of 140 patients last year in February but it hasn't been published to my knowledge. That's where it stands. They don't need to publish a damn thing in my opinion because they are exploiting the fear of surgery.

    I am still waiting for the day that somebody puts the chiropractor and the pediatric orthopedic surgeon in the same office and they work together to develop a scoliosis treatment program for the good of the patient.
    The best hope in my opinion is for the evidence-based chiros to show there is a "there" there apart from medicine. There might be but it hasn't been shown yet.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 11-21-2010 at 07:40 AM. Reason: typos
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  11. #11
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    In defence of Dr. Stitzel

    Yes, I am fully aware some will say there is no defense. But - he is not alone. There are many who believe as he does. And there are many who embrace personal viewpoints to the exclusion of any other possibilities. I will say this about him, I have watched him subtly shift his viewpoints over the last year. Often under protest :-) I think this is not unlike many ... changing viewpoints is not an easy thing ... but a necessary thing if progress (in any area of life) is to be made.

    Aside from Dr. Stitzel - I have been in touch with some interesting, and very knowledgeable people in my journey over the last two years. Every one of them has had something positive to contribute to me personally. And every one of them seems to have swung between one of two positions regarding the treatment of scoliosis. Generally speaking those two positions have been: (1) there is no known treatment outside of surgery and (2) there is only one treatment that helps (that treatment belonging to the professional practicing it). Very few exceptions.

    Because of his passion for the patient and the condition - I look/hope to see Dr. Stitzel evolve as he has in the past, and adopt a new, more flexible position in the future. Like Pooka1, I greatly admire the work of Morningstar, he shares the same passion as Stitzel but certainly is more flexible and open to observing the big picture of this condition which has too many variables to count. And that is the quality needed to unlock the answers to scoliosis treatment. It is as if Morningstar is a wise old sage in a young man's body.

    Truthfully, if every care giver in this area held the Morningstar approach to scoliosis - the natural history of the treatment itself, may have found us in a far different position than we are today. And while no one likes adversity (with rare exception), from adversity can come improvement.

    I look to see that improvement.

    Deepest thanks to Michael for opening another door to greater opportunity in the future. I sometimes think it will be the Dr. Morningstar (and Dr. Sid) care giver; and Michael (and Dingo/Ballet Mom) parent approach that will get us there. There, being: beyond philosophical argument to cure and/or acceptable treatment for all (both young and old).
    Idiopathic, from the Latin meaning: we're idiots 'cause we can't figure out what's causing it (TV Dr. House, MD)

    I'm not weird ... I'm simply - multifactorial

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamamax View Post
    Like Pooka1, I greatly admire the work of Morningstar, he shares the same passion as Stitzel but certainly is more flexible and open to observing the big picture of this condition which has too many variables to count. And that is the quality needed to unlock the answers to scoliosis treatment. It is as if Morningstar is a wise old sage in a young man's body.
    The only difference that matters between Morningstar (and all surgeons) on the one hand and Stitzel and ilk on the other is Morningstar and the surgeons are evidence-based. Stitzel doesn't even want Clear judged on their results. You can't get more anti-evidence-based than that. There is a reason.

    Not being evidence-based in this game is to not be taken seriously.

    And Michael1960 is in his own category among lay parents in my opinion. Nobody I have read touches him or comes close. He has combined a grasp of the literature (which he doesn't go beyond) with a diplomatic tone. Hitting that tone escapes me when dealing with certain types. He has taken me to school in that regard.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=Pooka1;111833]
    And Michael1960 is in his own category among lay parents in my opinion. Nobody I have read touches him or comes close. He has combined a grasp of the literature (which he doesn't go beyond) with a diplomatic tone. Hitting that tone escapes me when dealing with certain types. He has taken me to school in that regard.
    Yes, I think Michael1960 takes us all to school. I like school - it teaches us things :-)
    Last edited by mamamax; 11-21-2010 at 01:08 PM.
    Idiopathic, from the Latin meaning: we're idiots 'cause we can't figure out what's causing it (TV Dr. House, MD)

    I'm not weird ... I'm simply - multifactorial

  14. #14
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    Okay we can all go home now.

    A chiro just lectured an engineer on gravity.

    Reminds me of a chiro (same one as a matter of fact) saying that the traction chair was different from a brace because the curve is being pulled and not pushed.

    And both comments remind me of the comment from a chiro student that ...

    My biochemistry and physics teacher maintained that you weighed less when you picked one foot off the ground and that there was no gravity on the moon.
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=11146

    Okay everyone, go home now. Really.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  15. #15
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    Is that the same as if you jump just before the elevator hits the bottom you won't crash to the floor, hahaha!

    Actually, these three chiro appointments I've taken my son to seems to have relieved his back aches somewhat and he hasn't been putting on that stinky muscle rub or nuking heating pads lately. I just hope the chiro isn't in the long run doing more damage to his spine.

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