By Vincent Fortanasce, David Gutkind and Robert Watkins

End Back & Neck Pain Book Cover

If you suffer from back and neck pain, you want answers. You want relief. Now there is one book that brings you both: End Back & Neck Pain.

End Back & Neck Pain is a comprehensive guide to the relief and prevention of common forms of spinal pain. It will help you understand your pain, offer advice for self-treatment, and guide you in finding a physician. Authored by experts famous for their work with Pope John Paul II, the book helps relieve pain and keep it from recurring.

In End Back & Neck Pain, the leading names in back health join together to provide the latest research, professional insights, and proven programs to prevent and relieve pain and discomfort. You’ll get straight answers to questions such as these:

  • Why does my back or neck hurt?
  • What can I do now to alleviate my discomfort?
  • How do I prevent my pain from returning?
  • Could I have a serious or debilitating condition?
  • Is my doctor properly diagnosing my condition?
  • Is surgery really my best option?

Through a series of questions, you’ll identify the source of your discomfort and determine the best plan of action for relief. You’ll learn how simple lifestyle changes, postural improvements, and stretching exercises can keep that pain from returning. Most important, End Back & Neck Pain takes the fear and uncertainty out of your discomfort and puts you in control of your recovery.

Whether this is your first bout with serious pain or a recurring problem, End Back & Neck Pain has insights, answers, and programs that will put you on the path to a pain-free life.


Part I Why Does It Hurt? 
Chapter 1. Understanding Back and Neck Pain 
Chapter 2. Listening to the Voices of Pain 

Part II Helping Yourself 
Chapter 3. Using First Aid for Fast Relief 
Chapter 4. Stretching and Exercising 
Chapter 5. Making Lifestyle Choices to Ease Pain 
Chapter 6. Learning Correct Body Mechanics 
Chapter 7. Adapting Office Ergonomics 

Part III Working With Your Doctor 
Chapter 8. Choosing a Doctor 
Chapter 9. Getting the Right Diagnosis 
Chapter 10. Taking Medication for Spinal Pain 

Part IV Exploring Surgical Options 
Chapter 11. Getting Injections for Spinal Pain 
Chapter 12. Considering Surgery 
About the Authors 

ISBN: 978-07360-9528-0 
Binding: Paperback 
Pages: Approx. 216 
Price: $19.95 
Available: September 2011

e-Book short description:

The e-book format for End Back & Neck Pain allows readers to bookmark, highlight, and take notes throughout the text. When purchased through the HK site, access to the e-book is immediately granted when your order is received.

Dr. Vincent Fortanasce is a sought-after specialist who has treated high-profile clients such as Pope John Paul II and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda. He is nationally recognized for his appearances as a medical expert on The Today Show, 60 Minutes, Dr. Phil, Dateline NBC, CNN’s Paula Zahn Now, and Hard Ball with Chris Matthews. In End Back & Neck Pain, Fortanasce teams up with David Gutkind, a doctor of physical therapy specializing in ergonomics, and Robert Watkins, a spine surgeon and consultant to the L.A. Dodgers, the L.A. Kings, and the L.A. Lakers, to offer a comprehensive guide on the relief and prevention of the most common forms of back and neck pain.

For the approximately 80 percent of adults who will experience back pain in their lifetimes, End Back & Neck Pain helps readers identify the source of their discomfort and determine whether self-treatment is an option. Through a series of questions, readers can pinpoint what type of back pain they are experiencing and develop a plan of action for pain relief. For nonthreatening spinal discomfort, the authors empower readers to treat themselves by offering self-care methods including lifestyle changes, postural improvements, and stretching exercises as well as addressing the five main lifestyle factors that can cause pain. For more serious conditions that require medical attention, the book helps take the fear and uncertainty out of treatment by offering tips for finding a good physician, including what questions to ask and factors to consider before agreeing to back surgery.

Common myths associated with back and neck pain are addressed, debunking many of the common assumptions that keep people from seeking treatment. A must-have resource for those wishing to actively participate in their treatment, End Back & Neck Pain aids in eliminating pain and preventing it from recurring.


Vincent Fortanasce, MD, is clinical and associate professor of neurology at the University of Southern California in the departments of neurology and physical therapy. He is ranked as one of the best medical specialists in North America and has treated such high-profile individuals as Pope John Paul II and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda. Over nearly four decades, Dr. Fortanasce has treated Olympic and professional athletes as a world-renowned neurologist, neuro-orthopedist, and rehabilitation specialist. He has appeared as a medical expert on 60 Minutes, The Today Show, Dr. Phil, Dateline, CNN’s Paula Zahn Now, Hard Ball with Chris Mathews, XM satellite radio, and scores of national and local television and radio shows. Fortanasce was chief of neuro-orthopedics at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital at USC and neurological consultant to the spine centers at St. Vincent Medical Center and Casa Colina Hospital. He has been quoted in the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Time magazine, and many other prestigious publications. He also hosts his own syndicated radio program, St. Joseph’s Radio Presents.

David Gutkind, DPT, is a doctor of physical therapy and an orthopedic clinical specialist. During his professional career, he has specialized in ergonomics as a treatment intervention for both the cause and prevention of musculoskeletal injury to the spine. He has taught ergonomics at the university level, provided on-site training programs that emphasize spinal care and injury prevention at the corporate level, and conducted hundreds of individual and group training classes on lifting and body mechanics techniques. Gutkind lives in Southern California and continues to practice orthopedic physical therapy along with ergonomic instruction.

Robert Watkins, MD, is a spine surgeon and codirector of the Marina Spine Center at Marina Hospital in Marina del Rey, California. He is the former chief of spinal surgery at USC. His expertise ranges from innovative spine surgeries to treatment of sport-related injuries. In his practice, he treats collegiate, professional, and Olympic athletes across the United States. He has served more than 25 years as a spine consultant to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Kings, the Los Angeles Angels, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, and golfers on the PGA Tour. He has extensive experience in spinal surgery and postoperative rehabilitation of professional athletes, returning most athletes to full performance. As a surgeon, he has participated in more than 11,000 spine surgeries in a career that has spanned 30 years, and he currently completes nearly 250 surgeries a year. He has also developed an extensive coordinated core nonoperative program of rehabilitation without surgery.

Questions for Dr. Fortanasce

  • With 80% of adults experiencing back or neck pain at some point in their lives, these problems have reached epidemic proportions. How do you explain this phenomenon?
  • What are the warning signs that your pain is more than “ordinary” spine pain and that you should take an immediate trip to your doctor’s office or emergency room?
  • What are some things to look for when choosing a physician to diagnose and treat your pain?
  • How effective are some of the home remedies for back pain, such as bed rest or warm compresses?
  • In the book you talk about the voices of pain. What do you mean by that?
  • What are some of the best ways to avoid back or neck pain in the first place?
  • You and your coauthor Dr. David Gutkind write that poor workstation setup is a leading cause of pain. What are some of the common mistakes people make in setting up their computer workstations?
  • How will you know that it’s time to consider surgery for your back or neck pain?


“This must-have guide will eliminate your back and neck pain and prevent it from recurring.” 
Tommy Lasorda 
Legendary MLB Manager, LA Dodgers 
Inductee, National Baseball Hall of Fame