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Stabbed in the Back: Confronting Back Pain in an Overtreated Society
Nortin M. Hadler knows backaches. For more than three decades as a physician and medical researcher, he has studied the experience of low back pain in people who are otherwise healthy. Hadler terms the low back pain that everyone suffers at one time or another "regional back pain." In this book, he addresses the history and treatment of the ailment with the healthy skeptic ...more
Hardcover, 204 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by University of North Carolina Press
(first published January 1st 2009)
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Read this book several years ago. At the time I was experiencing recurring bouts of lower back pain and sciatica. I had tried all of the suggested remedies (drugs, therapy, chiropractor, injections, etc.), and had met with a neurosurgeon who basically told me to call him to schedule the surgery when the pain became too much to stand. The book didn't really provide a cure, but just gives the perspective that the doctors probably won't provide the cure either. That new perspective proved very valu ...more
Hadler is a very erudite, research-oriented rheumatologist. His thesis is that almost everyone has episodic low back pain, we have no idea what causes it, and health means having the personal resources to cope with it repeatedly. The reason some people choose to become back pain patients is that they lack the ability to cope for psychosocial reasons. He gratifyingly excoriates spinal surgery, Worker's Compensation, and the disability-industrial complex. He devotes only enough ink to other therap ...more