BACK PAINS: Quick Relief Without Drugs by Howard Kurland

BACK PAINS: Quick Relief Without Drugs

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A do-it-yourself pressure method, based on acupuncture, for the treatment of pain from bad backs only: no tips on prevention, no advice for improving the underlying problem. But, no inflated claims either. Kurland, a neurologist at Northwestern University Medical School, introduced the basic method in Quick Headache Relief Without Drugs (1977); it calls for replacing the needles of acupuncture with pressure from fingers and fingernails applied, in this instance, at specific points on the knees, ankles, thighs, lower legs, back, and ears. To initiate the reader, Kurland first provides a clear description of normal back structure and the causes of problems, as well as the emotional difficulties that can trigger or aggravate back disorders. He then reviews the current state of treatment--common medications and their side effects, ""non-prescription drugs, gadgets, and other home remedies"" (from mattresses to copper bracelets), and surgical and non-surgical procedures--and assesses, realistically, the results to be expected. His ""auto-acupressure"" program is carefully explained and illustrated--with a warning to readers that they will have to spend an apprenticeship period learning the techniques before they can expect positive results. There is no discussion of exercise (Kurland's view is that it may cause more problems than it alleviates); but there is straightforward, explicit advice about sex--something missing from other back-problem books. Why this method works is presently unknown, and Kurland is justified in saying that we simply have to take his word that it does. An interesting proposition, in any case, carefully and quietly explained. And a worthwhile supplement to The No More Back Trouble Book (1980), edited by Edith Rudiger.

Pub Date: March 19th, 1981
Publisher: Simon & Schuster