From Publishers Weekly
Nobody's going to like Hadler's prescription for backache—neither patients, doctors nor the government. But here it is from the UNC professor and health-care reformist author (Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America
): get over it. The fact is that you may be best off if you do not tell anyone about your regional backache and try to get on with it, he declares. Hadler argues that no theory on what causes regional back pain has stood up to scientific testing, and the myriad of treatments do more to sustain an enormous treatment enterprise than ease the pain. Hadler presents an impressive survey of what doctors, chiropractors and surgeons now offer for back pain—and of the history and rationale for government disability programs. His conclusion is scornful. Predicaments of life such as back pain are not injuries, Hadler insists. [H]eadache, heartburn, sleeplessness, altered bowel habits, and many regional musculoskeletal disorders... do not respond to treatment as diseases because they are not diseases. That's what you call a bitter pill— but one that should trigger a much needed debate among health-care reformers. 5 illus. (Nov. 15)
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"In this thought-provoking book, Hadler analyzes the evidentiary basis of the diagnosis and treatment of back pain with a fresh, no-nonsense razor."
"The volume is well organized, giving a good historical and clinical overview of back pain and of what Hadler terms 'the backache industry.'"
"The next step [in health care reform] is the one Hadler is already confronting: how to really bring down costs as we move forward."
-Progressive Pulse Blog
"A bitter pill -- but one that should trigger a much needed debate among health-care reformers."
"Relentlessly probes the effectiveness of common medical treatments and finds them wanting. . . . [A] compelling book."