I have a bad back. I have a bad neck. And I'm sure half the population has had a complaint at some point. Some are genetic, but most complaints are due to wear and tear, unintentional injury or not really looking after ourselves. Well I'm at the point where my body is talking back - a lot lately. I've been to my doctor, I know what's wrong and what I should and shouldn't be doing.
(And that's an important point to note here - this book is a fantastic reference but "users of this book should not consider the information, advice and guidelines it contains as a substitute for the advice of medical professionals, accredited physical therapists, and other registered practitioners.
Now, that being said - I found Essential Back Care to be a fantastic reference book. It starts off with the basics - you can put your hand on your neck and say it hurts, but what does your spine actually look like? Full colour photos and detailed information on the anatomy of your neck and back are found in the first chapters.
Next are symptom charts, with yes or no answers, pointing you to a possible diagnosis and then to a informational page about the injury. On those informational pages, you'll find causes and possible care for the early, intermediate and advanced stages of injury. Again, detail, detail, detail.
You'll be directed to further chapters that cover many types of care and rehabilitation - seeing your primary care physician, who may order further tests, medication or surgery - all fully explained - seeing a physical therapist, with the different approaches fully detailed - perhaps an osteopath, chiropractor, massage therapist, acupuncturist or alternative therapies would help you deal with your pain.
I really found the preventative chapters a great reminder on the right way to do things - posture, work activity, sports, controlling your weight, looking after your home, driving and much, much more. (Sitting correctly at the computer setting off any bells for any of you?!)
So maybe you're stuck with chronic pain. What can you do to live easier with that pain? Essential Back Care provides lots of ideas for coping with everyday activities such as dressing and simply getting a good night's sleep as well as mental strategies.
The last, and one of the larger chapters, is Rehabilitation Exercises. I found many of them to be ones that my physio had assigned me, as well as some new ones too. Colour photos with very specific instructions.
I love the care that DK puts into their books. Pictures are detailed, the language used is clear and easy to understand. Their books are well laid out, with graphs, charts and info boxes that are easy to follow. Quite a bit of information is included, but doesn't overwhelm. The progression of the chapters follows logically, each building upon the last. And the information is actually compiled and written by health professionals.
A great reference tool for anyone concerned about their health.