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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Edward Abraham, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This is the fourth edition of a booklet on back care.
Purpose: The purpose is to help patients to better understand the nature of acute back pain, to outline a series of preventive measures, and to recommend appropriate home exercises to overcome back pain. These worthwhile objectives are met to some extent.
Audience: The audience is primarily patients with back pain. The authors, Brian Kraback, MD, an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation and orthopaedic surgery, and Brandee Waite, MD, a fellow in sports medicine and spine rehabilitation, are both from the John Hopkins Medical Institutions.
Features: This edition provides more information about the lower back and types of injuries. New illustrations are used to show incorrect versus correct posture, stretching and strengthening exercises. It relies on generous use of good quality photographs. The information is clearly presented and to the point and the entire book can be read in less than 30 minutes.
Assessment: Although the authors tried to limit the scope of the booklet to patients with acute back pain, the information can apply to some degree to all patients with a history of chronic or recurrent back pain. There is no question that a significant number of patients who present with back pain are physically out of shape. This booklet offers some hope and direction for these patients to take charge of the situation by channeling their energies to a healthier lifestyle. Physicians, therapists, and others caring for back pain patients can make excellent use of this publication.