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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Willow Curve

    I've been seeing a lot of ads on tv lately for a contraption called the Willow Curve. The ads use a lot of techno-babble and buzzwords, but what it boils down to is that the gadget seems to use sensors something like what you see in fitness trackers and smart watches that measure blood flow in the painful area and then uses light and heat therapy to improve blood flow to the area. But, does it REALLY relieve joint pain?
      Their advertisements on tv with spokesman, a former game show host, Chuck Woolery says so and their website has testimonials from people saying it works. Of course I have yet to see any website testimonials that say the product is a piece of crap.
      The device is similar to technology used in doctors’ offices and, unless you have good insurance, at $600, it's cheaper than surgery. Their site says it's been used to treat a number of conditions in hospitals and clinics nationwide, as well as by the Navy SEALS and professional athletes. Many users experience relief and improved range of motion from the first use, but the Curve is safe to use multiple times per day if needed, depending on your level of pain. Just a passing thought, did the Navy SEALS have to use it because they got injured using that Perfect Ab Carver Pro, supposedly invented by a SEAL, you see advertised on tv?
      The website says it's good for pain management without medication, increased circulation, reduced stiffness and there are no side effects. The Better Business Bureau reports no complaints as of February 2015 indicating that customers who wanted refunds were given them in a timely manner.
      There are two independent studies from the University of Toledo that verify it provides measurable pain relief for some patients while, like ALL customer reviews, is a mixed bag; some customers say it works, some say it doesn't.
      While I could NOT find anything fully debunking the device and it sounds like it belongs in the same class as some of the stuff you can find on the Museum of Quackery site, before spending $600 the best thing to do first is spend $25 to $35 for a heating pad and some over the counter pain relievers. If that doesn't work, see a doctor. If the doctor can't help or he wants more than $600, THEN spring for the device...maybe.

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