Cathryn Jakobson Ramin – Author • Journalist • Speaker
I’m a journalist, essayist, lecturer and the author of Carved in Sand: When Attention Fails and Memory Fades in Midlife. I’m currently at work on The Fragile Column, a book about the back pain industry.
Hot Off the Press: Worried about painkillers? You may be interested in my most recent article, “Why Did the F.D.A. Approve a New Pain Drug?” published on NewYorker.com in December 2013. Read it here.
“Cathryn what’s-her-name has written an understandable, enjoyable, highly informative book about memory and mental acuity—and all the things that plague and hamper them as we age.”
– Mary Roach, author of Stiff, Spook, Bonk and Packing for Mars
“An enlightening and rather reassuring new book on fading memory in midlife…”
– Jane Brody,
Here, you’ll find a collection of videos I’ve created over the past several years, addressing various aspects of back pain. Hate how your back feels on your bike? Want to fall in love with your chair? Wondering how safe epidural steroid injections are, or whether you should give up high heels? Like to know how they treat back pain in a non-operative hospital in Seoul? You’ll find your answers here. And check back often — the collection is growing!
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Like most of my work in the past three decades, the inspiration for my newest project emerged from a personal problem. I’d struggled with a persistent backache and sciatica for years. At fifty, I realized that if I didn’t do something about it, not only would I never lift my future grandchildren, I might not be able to put on my own socks.
Like millions of other back pain patients, I was overwhelmed with ill-defined options for treatment. Which would work? Which would simply drain my wallet? And which might actually leave me in worse shape than when I’d started? As I probed, I began to see the bigger picture. Hoards of back pain sufferers, all of us desperate for relief, were at the mercy of a huge and poorly regulated industry. Thus began an exacting three-year effort to separate fact from fiction.
I traveled around the world for THE FRAGILE COLUMN, interviewing specialists in many disciplines. I spent hundreds of hours talking to patients and collecting their stories. My goal is to deliver timely and accurate information that shatters widely accepted presumptions about when surgery is needed, the usefulness of injections, the benefits of pain management, and the prospects for complete rehabilitation.
There was a time when no one who could afford to do otherwise dreamed of carrying his own luggage. That was what porters were for. As you might have noticed, if you’re a fan of PBS’ Downton Abbey, even a couple of weeks in the country (attire for formal balls; mandatory tails for dinner) required such items as a campaign bag, a carpet bag, a dressing case, a hat box, and a steamer trunk. The last … Read full post