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Crooked Audiobook

Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery

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Publisher's Summary

The acclaimed author of Carved in Sand - a veteran investigative journalist who endured persistent back pain for decades - delivers the definitive book on the subject: an essential examination of all facets of the back pain industry, exploring what works, what doesn't, what may cause harm, and how to get on the road to recovery.

In her effort to manage her chronic back pain, investigative reporter Cathryn Jakobson Ramin spent years and a small fortune on a panoply of treatments. But her discomfort only intensified, leaving her feeling frustrated and perplexed. As she searched for better solutions, she exposed a much bigger problem. Costing roughly $100 billion a year, spine medicine - often ineffective and sometimes harmful - exemplified the worst aspects of the US health-care system.

The result of six years of intensive investigation, Crooked offers a startling look at the poorly identified risks of spine medicine and provides practical advice and solutions. Ramin interviewed scores of spine surgeons, pain management doctors, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, exercise physiologists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and specialized bodywork practitioners. She met with many patients whose pain and desperation led them to make life-altering decisions and with others who triumphed over their limitations.

The result is a brilliant and comprehensive book that is not only important but essential to millions of back pain sufferers and all types of health-care professionals. Ramin shatters assumptions about surgery, chiropractic methods, physical therapy, spinal injections, and painkillers and addresses evidence-based rehabilitation options - showing, in detail, how to avoid therapeutic dead ends while saving money, time, and considerable anguish. With Crooked, she reveals what it takes to outwit the back pain industry and get on the road to recovery.

©2017 Cathryn Jakobson Ramin (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

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  •  
    Dr. Z 07-17-17
    Dr. Z 07-17-17
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    "OK, but a lot of inaccuracies"

    Mostly an excellent book, but the blanket/stereotyping of certain interventions was disappointing. I'm a chiropractor and have studied with McGill. I've studied the McKenzie technique and DNS extensively among other soft tissue techniques. While I realize there are many terrible chiropractors out there, there are also many very intelligent ones who employ movement based therapy, education and patient empowerment. The author made very brief mention of Dr. Craig Liebenson, chiropractor, which was great, but if she would have extrapolated more on his contribution to stopping the rack and crack approach that would have been nice.

    Additionally, all of the above could be said for physical therapy. There are many good ones.

    I feel as though the book never really said what works other than movement. Which I agree, but for the back pained reader I am not sure a concrete direction was given. The best advice however, was that surgery and other high tech interventions often fail.

    Good book, but not excellent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    RP U.S. 08-05-17
    RP U.S. 08-05-17 Member Since 2013

    robbsterino

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    "Thorough and Helpful"

    I don't think a professional narrator could have read this with the same authority as the author. Throughout, I could feel her frustration at solutions that didn't work, as well as contentment with those that gave relief. Having been through many of the frustrations myself, I'm glad for the untried suggestions she has offered and am already on that path. I appreciate her tenacity and thoroughness in researching this and sharing her findings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Carrie401 MN 07-30-17
    Carrie401 MN 07-30-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Mostly Reliable"

    Overall, it is great advice for back pain sufferers. I have had back pain for 11 years and I've been an RN for 12 years, I love evaluating medical research and often yell at the TV when the news anchors are misconstruing the latest published research paper.

    Most of the information is current and evidence based, I dropped one star for some reliance on anecdotes as evidence and brief reaching on correlating causes of back pain without evidence. She does fully disclose at the times she is reaching.

    Part One starts to get very hopeless, which, she warns you in advance to skip to Part Two if you can't take it. I thought I could handle it, but 3/4 of the way through I almost had to skip ahead. I began to think it was approaching fear mongering, but people need a lot of discouragement from the idea that surgery is a quick fix, so I decided I didn't mind.
    I especially love that she admits in the end that she still has some bad days. It gets so frustrating to feel like you're doing everything right and still have episodes of pain. Anyone offering a "cure" is a liar, she offers excellent help, but no claims to have found the miracle cure. Thank you for being honest! I will be following her website for the updates she's promised.

    Good luck everyone out there with back pain! :) We're all in this together, and there is hope. <3

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Lynn Scott 07-26-17
    Lynn Scott 07-26-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Wow! Amazing and inspiring"

    This book is a breath of fresh air. Great research presented in a way that inspires a lifestyle and attitude change.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Spudzombie 07-08-17
    Spudzombie 07-08-17
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    "A must read for anyone with back pain!"

    This book covers all aspects of back treatments. Americans tend to turn to surgery as the treatment of choice but also tend to overlook the low success rates. This book explores all options and provides a convincing argument why surgery should be the last consideration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    ORCoastalview 07-01-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Good info but perhaps slightly alarmist"

    This book was helpful in thinking about how to navigate my own journey with back pain. However I 've had good experience with my surgeon and physiatrist, as have nearly all my friends who have opted for surgery. The author may need to revisit the conventional interventions again with more qualified doctors and institutions than the laser spine type places. Really appreciated all her info on the nonsurgical options.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Angela Rabl 06-27-17
    Angela Rabl 06-27-17
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    "Must read for anyone suffering from back pain"
    Would you listen to Crooked again? Why?

    Absolutely! Not only are the stories compelling, the vast and in depth research done by the author is refreshing. The real life examples are also compelling and relatable to anyone going through the back pain merry-go-round


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Crooked?

    The fact that pain management doctors (although anesthesiologists) can perform a wide range of surgical procedures for which they have not been board certified, and without any oversight. That there isn't a limitation in regards to "scope of practice" for these stopped me cold, and scared the heavens out of me. This was the moment that fully gripped me.


    What does Cathryn Jakobson Ramin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Personal experience and relatability.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Not worth your life


    Any additional comments?

    This book is thoughtfully well written and narrated in a matter-of-fact way that forces you to pay attention. If after this one decides not to heed the warning therein, they do so at their own peril. Having paid attention to Tiger Woods and Steve Carr, Cathryn's book affirms what my fears have been thus far, research into back surgery outcomes and experience with clients already had me against it. I am now officially never going to consider or entertain the thought of more back prodding procedures. I will find other ways to manage.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Cherilyn Parsons 06-13-17
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    "Fabulous and important book"

    I'm in the middle of a long saga dealing with sacroiliac pain and was just about to do a nerve ablation. This book has changed my approach. I've "failed" at physical therapy and chiropractic in the past, but they all felt too lightweight in terms of training. Upon recommendation from my pain doctor I found a serious and skilled, highly qualified physical therapist trainer who is going to work with me – if I can get my insurance to cover it.

    Cathryn's book is a must-read for anyone dealing with joint problems anywhere in the body -- not just the back. I listened to this book on audio and now I am going to get the print copy so I can easily look back at the information. If you have any joint issues, run – at least hobble – or go online - or send a friend – to get this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    C. A. Martin 06-04-17 Member Since 2016
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    "A must read for pain suffer"

    I wish i had this book 4 years ago. i bought onto all the hype the drs gave me and all the lies. I am alone and frightened for my future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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