Investigative journalist takes on the spine industry in new book

Written by Laura Dyrda | June 26, 2017 | Print  |

Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, an investigative journalist by trade, published a book in May examining the back pain and spine surgery industries.

The book, titled Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery, is based on Ms. Jakobson Ramin's experience managing chronic back pain. She describes spending money on unsuccessful treatments and pairs her personal narrative with statistics and interviews with spine specialists.


The book touches on spine surgery as well as pain management, therapy, chiropractic care, opioid use and alternative pain management methods. She also interviews chronic back pain patients and examines how they navigate life with back pain.


The Amazon book description reads, "Ramin shatters assumptions about surgery, chiropractic methods, physical therapy, spinal injections and pain killers, and addresses evidence-based rehabilitation options — showing, in detail, how to avoid therapeutic dead ends, while saving money, time and considerable anguish."


Among the spine specialists quoted in the book include former North American Spine Society President Heidi Prather, DO, who said physical therapy often fails to solve back pain because physicians don't communicate details of the patient's pain to the therapists or a recommended treatment plan. "It's hoping the PT knows what he's doing, and sending the patient into space with no tether and no supervision," she said.


Ms. Jakobson Ramin also cautions against unproven procedures, cutting edge therapies and unnecessary diagnostic treatments.


More articles on spine surgery:
5 best practices for spine surgery in ASCs: Total joints and spine in ASCs & more
Spinal fusion outcomes: TLIF vs. PLIF
5 spine surgeons weigh in on cost containment

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