Archive for the ‘Sports Medicine’Category

BQ365 Week 2: The Power of Placebo

by Brian Kim, MD, MS

“Preservation of sound judgment both in the laboratory and in the clinic requires the use of the “double blind” technique, where neither the subject nor the observer is aware of what agent was used or indeed when it was used. This latter requirement is made possible by the insertion of a placebo…into the plan of study.”

The world took notice in 1955 when Henry Beecher published his influential paper “The Powerful Placebo,” in which he reported that, on average, 35% of patients respond favorably to nothing more than a placebo, or “sugar pill.” For decades thereafter, it was widely assumed (erroneously) that a similar proportion of people, whatever the circumstance, could expect to have their fortunes changed with the help of a placebo. Read the rest of this entry →


03 2013

The Sideline: Brian Wilson’s Abdominal Muscle Strain

by Steve Hole, MD 2012

Though he’s under a 2-year, $15 million contract with the World Series champion San Francisco Giants, Brian Wilson wears several hats: tattoo canvas, captivating interview star, and closer extraordinaire. The relief pitcher led the majors with 48 saves in 2010 and pitched his best in the biggest moments, striking out Ryan Howard in Game 6 of the NLCS to send the Giants to the World Series, and striking out Nelson Cruz to clinch the team’s first title since leaving New York in 1958.

Despite his obsessive year-round workout program, odds were “less than 50-50” that Mr. Wilson would be ready to play on Opening Day 2011. In a Spring Training game against the LA Angels on March 17, he strained an abdominal muscle during an otherwise routine 7th inning appearance. Pitch counts are an essential part of baseball at all levels, and Mr. Wilson was not beyond his expected workload for this point of the preseason. The injury was undeniably a result of the pitching motion; Mr. Wilson might have felt the strain emerge during one single throw, or emerge gradually over hours or days.

According to Giants manager, Bruce Bochy, an MRI taken after the game showed a “mild strain of the left oblique muscle” but did not show any tears. Fans might remember Mr. Wilson missed time earlier in the spring with a sore back; this injury appears to be unrelated.

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04 2011

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