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Library Journal★ 08/01/2014
Back pain is very common, second only to headache as a neurological complaint and right behind colds and flu as a reason for visiting a physician. The author, a neurosurgeon and spine specialist and a professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, treats back pain and he has also been a patient. He provides excellent advice for those who suffer. This book explains the types and causes of back pain and offers a checklist that readers can use to help pinpoint the types of pain that they have. The author explains how doctors diagnose the condition, taking into consideration the cultural as well as the physical aspects of the problem. He tells readers how to advocate for themselves when working with a health-care professional and explains the diagnostic tests that may be used. He urges them to consider physical therapy and integrative therapies as well as psychological treatment, reserving surgery only for those conditions that require it. He also discusses lifestyle changes that promote a healthy back: good posture, exercise, sufficient sleep, and a healthy diet. VERDICT Highly recommended for public and consumer health collections. This is an excellent book about a common health problem that is very challenging.—Barbara Bibel, Oakland P.L.