"Neurosurgeon Gokaslan and orthopedist Riley... frequently reassure readers that back pain is usually self-limited, without major treatments or surgery, and they offer recommendations for finding authoritative information, including web sites from national spine organizations. Diagnostic and imaging tests are described, as are pain relief and nonsurgical treatments; physical therapy is strongly promoted both as treatment and as prevention. Gokaslan and Riley give a general overview of back surgeries, placing particular emphasis on matching patient and physician expectations of realistic outcomes. A large amount of information is packed into this slim volume. Although the reading level is high, it should be a popular addition to consumer health collections."