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After death and taxes, one of the great certainties in life is back pain——and if you’ve been lucky enough to avoid it so far, just wait.

It’ll hit you sooner or later——and when it does, you’ll get tons of advice from well-meaning friends and loved ones. But there’s one person you should ignore when it comes to back pain, and it’s not those friends or loved ones.

It’s your own doctor!

Most doctors are 100 percent clueless when it comes to diagnosing and treating back pain——so stumped that a major new study finds they routinely ignore their own mainstream guidelines.

They order tests that aren’t necessary (including radioactive imaging tests), prescribe powerful and addictive narcotic painkillers when over-the-counter meds or natural supplements will do the trick and even ship their patients off to specialists for still more unnecessary tests, scans and treatments.

And that’s when your back’s really in the wrong hands.

The specialist——usually an orthopedic surgeon——will poke, prod, zap, scan and then diagnose you with an acute case of jargon. Slipped this, bulging that and the very scary-sounding “spinal disc degeneration.”

It sounds ominous, and that’s the point——so you’ll submit to whatever treatment the orthopedist recommends.

Many will start you off with steroid shots despite studies that show they’re no more effective than a placebo, and dangerous to boot. They’re so dangerous that a steroid shot can increase your risk of spinal fracture by 29 percent.

That’s not overall. That’s a 29 percent bump in risk with each shot——and many patients submit to shot after shot after shot.

When those shots fail——and clearly, they will——the orthopedic surgeon will recommend surgery.

Yes, a surgeon recommending surgery. What are the odds?

But if there’s anything more worthless than those steroid shots, it’s back surgery in most cases——because the very slips, bulges and degenerations he’s planning to operate on almost certainly aren’t the cause of your pain in the first place.

In fact, those slips, bulges and degenerations are a normal part of aging.

In one study, scans on 90 percent of seniors with no back pain at all re-vealed the same slips, bulges and degenerations that orthopedists routinely detect and treat with surgery. If that’s not a sign they’re barking up the wrong spine, I don’t know what is.

Now, of course there are times when you really might need surgery. But in most cases, you can avoid the scalpel and beat pain at the same time——and you can start with my…


The dirty secret of the orthopedics industry is that most cases of back pain resolve on their own over time——so the real goal isn’t to find a magic cure that doesn’t exist.

It’s to relieve the pain until it goes away on its own. And sometimes, all you need is a little…

Fish Oil: Why turn to stomach-wrecking anti-inflammatory drugs when you don’t have to? Fish oil is proven in studies to work about as well as ibupro-fen at relieving back pain. It can also help ease neck pain or any other pain caused by inflammation. But don’t stop with the fish oil when your back pain fades——it will help protect your heart, brain, eyes and more.

Hot Compress: This is so old-fashioned and basic that it gets zero attention——but it is highly effective at easing backaches, neck aches and other forms of pain, especially the “nonspecific” kind your doc wants to send you out to see a specialist over.

You can buy a heating pad, a disposable compress or make your own with a towel and hot water bottle.

Sometimes, even a simple stretch in the shower as hot (not scalding!) water hits your sore spot is all it takes to loosen things up and chase away pain.

Cocaine: Yes, you read that right. And no, I’m not going out of my mind.

Doctors have access to a medical-grade solution of 10 percent liquid cocaine. In a simple outpatient procedure, the doctor can dip a swab into the solution, then stick it up your nose until it hits the SP ganglion.

The SP ganglion is like the switchboard that handles all the pain signals, especially from your back——and cocaine shuts it off.

In most cases, you’ll need daily treatment for a few days or up to a week——but the relief can last months or even years, and you will not turn into a cokehead.

Of course, most U.S. docs won’t touch this stuff even though it’s legal and available——so your best bet is to book a trip to Europe or Central America, where this treatment is routine and inexpensive. You could probably use a vacation anyway.

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