This is the kind of book I love -- a book that provides both information and inspiration. This Chicken Soup compilation contains 29 first-person stories from those who have suffered debilitating back pain, interspersed with discussions from Julie Silver, MD, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School's Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Dr. Silver provides information about the causes and treatments of back pain, along with suggestions for how to prevent problems through adopting habits that are helpful for your back and exercises that can prevent or treat problems as they arise. She discusses the pros and cons of various treatments, such as injections, physical therapy and surgery.
Interspersed with this information are the personal stories from contributors. The stories start out compellingly with one from an Army sergeant who begins to have back trouble when he has to strap on body armor and gear that weighs 60 to 100 pounds. And he weighs only 135 pounds to start with! Some stories show how easily back troubles can start -- one person sneezed while bending over, which was enough to put his back out. Yet another story shows how chronic debilitating conditions such as spondylolisthesis can make life miserable -- but the writer suffering from it goes on to compete in triathlons.
All in all, this is a book that back pain sufferers can really benefit from reading. Personally, I know that sometimes you start to think that nothing can be done about back pain but to endure it. This book shows that you don't need to give up just yet.