For your amusement and education, here are two comically vicious mini-reviews of a pair of disgusting examples of incompetent health care publishing on the internet. My hapless victims are not necessarily the worst of the worst. What makes these sites so disappointing is that they are typical — the great majority of health care information online is at least this bad, and a lot of it is even worse. Shudder. With apologies to the presumably well-intentioned authors, let the attack begin …
ThePain.net is an ambitiously content-rich flop, barfed up onto the world wide web by Pekka Palin, MD. The slightly intriguing domain name is the first and last redeeming feature of the website.
Dr. Pekka offers a fairly sizeable collection of blandly composed, shallow, rambling and frequently irrational mini-articles on every imaginable pain subject, laid out in dauntingly large blocks of text that run on for two or three screens at a time without so much as a subhead, a total typographic travesty. 100% unreferenced, Dr. Palin dishes out many queer little pieces of lame advice that reveal either an inability to think or write, but probably both — gems like “sleep with your neck straight” for headaches stand out and make any sensible reader go cross-eyed and leave.Dr. Palin dishes out many queer little pieces of lame advice that reveal either an inability to think or write, but probably both
I particularly enjoyed the perfect futility of the phrase, “The most common reason for temporary back pain is lumbago.” Since “lumbago” means “back pain” (see the definition of lumbago on Wikipedia), Dr. Obvious has helpfully explained to us here that the cause of back pain is, er, back pain. Wow. There’s one slice of my time I’m never getting back.
And of course all this medical advising genius is nestled into the usual dog’s breakfast of godawful web design choices: disgusting link colours, a veritable assault of Google ads, photos scattered around apropos of nothing … even an unsettling and amateurish ad for a book with a sketch of a nude woman on the cover.
Oh, the pain!
Thanks to the weird vicissitudes of “the Google” (as Dubya dubbed it), Stew Stryker’s iliotibial band syndrome website has, for years now, been the first thing that most people see when they Google for iliotibial band syndrome. This is just wrong.
If the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, nothing has helped more people drive there than the internet. Although he assures us that “You CAN beat ITBS!!” Stew has “NO FORMAL MEDICAL TRAINING.” Thanks for shouting, Stewey — now we also know that you have no formal design or publishing training, either. This does not bode.
So, Stew is an amateur. Given that he is “simply someone who suffered through ITBS off and on for 7 years and talked with a lot of people about it,” is it fair to mercilessly criticize Stew Stryker’s website about iliotibial band syndrome? Especially when he’s admitting his limitations right up front? In a word, youdamnwellbetterbelieveit!
Stew’s site is butt ugly. Stew’s links are broken. Stew’s information is obsolete. Stew’s claims are mostly unreferenced. Stew’s writing is uninspired and, thank Heaven, brief.Is it fair to mercilessly criticize Stew Stryker’s amateur website about iliotibial band syndrome? In a word, youdamnwellbetterbelieveit!
Yet his brevity is the final great crime of this “top-ranked” site — a spectacular paucity of information, a hilariously incomplete snapshot of wilted conventional wisdom posing as a useful resource for people who actually need help. Meanwhile, as the author of the most detailed, referenced and interesting information about iliotibial band syndrome available to consumers — see my tutorial, Save Yourself from IT Band Syndrome! — Stew’s site and bizarrely inflated Google-ranking makes me seethe.
A final note: Stew has the gall to prominently ask for donations. I was just seething before, but this really pisses me off. Donations for what? The “get this crap off the internet” fund?
I don’t about you, but I sure feel better. I am certain that I will be publishing more amusingly nasty reviews in the future. Stay tuned!
For real information about iliotibial band syndrome, see: