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Publisher's Summary

The acclaimed author of Carved in Sand - a veteran investigative journalist who endured persistent back pain for decades - delivers the definitive book on the subject: an essential examination of all facets of the back pain industry, exploring what works, what doesn't, what may cause harm, and how to get on the road to recovery.
In her effort to manage her chronic back pain, investigative reporter Cathryn Jakobson Ramin spent years and a small fortune on a panoply of treatments. But her discomfort only intensified, leaving her feeling frustrated and perplexed. As she searched for better solutions, she exposed a much bigger problem. Costing roughly $100 billion a year, spine medicine - often ineffective and sometimes harmful - exemplified the worst aspects of the US health-care system.
The result of six years of intensive investigation, Crooked offers a startling look at the poorly identified risks of spine medicine and provides practical advice and solutions. Ramin interviewed scores of spine surgeons, pain management doctors, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, exercise physiologists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and specialized bodywork practitioners. She met with many patients whose pain and desperation led them to make life-altering decisions and with others who triumphed over their limitations.
The result is a brilliant and comprehensive book that is not only important but essential to millions of back pain sufferers and all types of health-care professionals. Ramin shatters assumptions about surgery, chiropractic methods, physical therapy, spinal injections, and painkillers and addresses evidence-based rehabilitation options - showing, in detail, how to avoid therapeutic dead ends while saving money, time, and considerable anguish. With Crooked, she reveals what it takes to outwit the back pain industry and get on the road to recovery.
©2017 Cathryn Jakobson Ramin (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Matthew I. Greenfield on 12-14-17

If you're like me, skip this book.

I don't doubt this book is helpful to many.

However, I've been doing boxing, body-building -esque exercises, and powerlifting for years. I heard of Dr. Stuart McGill from Stan Efferding, and in reading reviews of Stu's "The Back Mechanic", I came across this title.

In my opinion, this book should have been cut in thirds. For me, there was way too much repetitive information and narratives about what *didn't* work. I don't need to be told 50 times that halting exercise regresses progress. I want a concise yet complete understanding of how to avoid and repair damage.

If you're interested in the journalistic aspect, get this. Having an audiobook was a great way to whet my appetite on my commutes while my books were being shipped from Amazon. I would recommend listening on at least 1.5x speed. For me, the narration was quite slow and seemed to arbitrarily emphasize certain words or characters' testimonies. It also seemed to greatly detail studies contrary to typical medicine, but only rely on anecdotal evidence for procedures from "back gurus". Anecdotal information is great, but the imbalance seemed very biased.

If you want solutions, skip this and go straight to Dr. Stuart McGill's "The Back Mechanic" and/or "The Gift of Injury".

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jenkintown family on 12-14-17

great story and great info

the best part of this book is the decision making Tools in her woven. This means the book answers questions like how can you tell that your yoga teacher or physical therapist or even physician is qualified to give you advice.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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