"The best evidence available today suggests that patients with back pain should remain as active as possible." -- Dr. Jeffrey N. Katz

Newswise — 80% percent of the world's population suffers from back pain at some point in their lives. In the United States alone, each year 31 million back pain sufferers spend an estimated $50 billion on medical treatments for their problem but many find no relief.

Now, in Heal Your Aching Back, Dr. Jeffrey Katz, M.D., M.Sc.,, a leading back specialist at Harvard Medical School and the Spine Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital, unravels the perplexities of back pain that have led to diagnostic discrepancies and mixed-message treatment for back pain sufferers. He contends that movement and exercise, not rest, is the best way to either relieve or alleviate pain.

Dr. Katz offers the latest research and proven techniques for preventing back pain from occurring or recurring. He is also comfortable with a mélange of East and West, ancient and modern, low-tech and high-tech treatments including complementary therapies such as massage, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, Mind-Body Therapies, exercise, and herbal products for back pain. His nineteen years of experience culminates in Heal Your Aching Back which includes:

"¢ Explanations of the anatomy of the neck, spine and back"¢ Decoding why the back hurts "¢ Classifying the pain by its duration and location"¢ Improved and new diagnostic approaches for back pain"¢ Up-to-the-minute coverage on pain medicine delivery methods including OxyContin, Celebrex, narcotics, and other controversial drugs and alternative treatments"¢ How to choose which doctors to visit"¢ Nonsurgical treatments for your backache and guidance on when to consider surgery

Despite being a difficult syndrome to treat, much can be done to improve the quality of life of patients with chronic back pain. The focus now becomes "functional restoration," or how to enable patients to become more limber, stronger, and physically conditioned so they can do the things that matter to them. At some point, the back pain sufferer may simulate the activities needed to return to their work environment, known as "work hardening." Dr. Katz's hope is that patients don't let their pain imprison them.

About the AuthorJeffrey N. Katz, M.D., M.Sc., is an associate professor of medicine and orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School, co-director of the Brigham Spine Center, Director of the Orthopedic and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Deputy Editor of the journal Spine. Gloria Parkinson is a professional writer who specializes in health topics.

Heal Your Aching Back: What A Harvard Doctor Wants You To Know About Finding Relief & Keeping Your Back Strong by Jeffrey N. Katz, M.D., M.Sc. with Gloria Parkinson 269 pp / 2007 / $14.95 / Paperback / ISBN: 0071467653 / McGraw-Hill

Available at bookstores and online booksellers and at http://www.health.harvard.edu/books/Heal-Your-Aching-Back.htm

Register for reporter access to contact details