For the majority of us, it's not a question of whether we'll someday experience back pain; it's a question of when.
But searching for solutions can lead sufferers into an expensive and sometimes dangerous maze of ineffectual treatments, procedures and pills, as journalist and investigative reporter Cathryn Jakobson Ramin found. For years, she searched for solutions for her own intractable back pain. Then she began to investigate the entire back pain ecosystem: doctors, chiropractors, surgery centers, pharmaceutical companies, “posture mavens,” collusion between personal injury attorneys and doctors … you name it.
Her new book, “Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting On the Road to Recovery,” explores what she found, while also telling the story of how she overcame her own back pain. When it comes to people making money on — literally — the backs of other people, “A lot of things didn't add up,” she says. “That generally means something is wrong.”
Ramin recently spoke about her investigation with Eric Westervelt on KQED's Forum program. Here is some of what she said.
Beware the One Surgeon Who Says Yes