Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting On the Road to Recovery
Like much of my work over the past four decades, the inspiration for Crooked emerged from personal experience.
I’d struggled with backache and sciatica for years. Like millions of other back pain sufferers, I was overwhelmed with ill-defined options for treatment. Which would work? Which would simply drain my wallet? And which might leave me in worse shape than when I began? As I struggled to answer these questions, I realized that I had plenty of company. In the United States, the cost of treating back pain exceeded $100 billion a year, and much of that money was wasted on ineffective tactics.
What started as my straightforward effort to resolve an annoying problem turned into six years of investigative reporting and writing. The book is handily divided into Part I: Problems, and Part II: Solutions, and if you have to read Part II first, that's okay. Well before you finish reading Crooked, you’ll understand that the pain in your back (or your hip or your leg) also exists in a political, psychological and economic context that greatly influences how you’ll be treated – and if you’ll recover. You'll know which approaches are likely to reliably bring you some relief, and exactly what's involved in each.
My goal with Crooked is to set the back pain industry’s offerings in their proper context, so that patients have the information they need to make good decisions; to know what works sometimes, what works rarely, and what can cause harm.
I wrote Carved in Sand because anyone older than forty knows that forgetfulness can be unnerving, frustrating and sometimes terrifying.
In a book that examines these feelings with compassion and humor, I explain what midlife forgetfulness is all about – from the perspectives of physiology, psychology and sociology. Relentless in my search for answers to questions about my own unreliable memory, I explore the factors that determine how well – or poorly – one’s brain will age. I consult experts in the fields of sleep, stress, traumatic brain injury, hormones, genetics and dementia, as well as specialists in nutrition, cognitive psychology and the burgeoning field of drug-based cognitive enhancement.
The stories of a wide array of midlife men and women have resonated with readers, who have described this book about brain science as “a page-turner,” and told me that they recognized their own foibles and could not stop laughing. Beyond the guffaws, they came away with real insight into how to elicit the very best performance from a middle-aged brain. This is a timely, highly readable and much-needed book for anyone whose memory is not what it used to be. A New York Times bestseller, it has found readership around the world; to date, Carved in Sand has been published in nine languages.
Literary Representation | Michael Carlisle | Inkwell Management
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