The Placebo Effect; January 1998; Scientific American Magazine; by Brown; 6 Page(s)
After a day of crosscountry skiing in subfreezing weather a couple of years ago, I developed severe lower back pain. Even tying my shoes was agony. Despite my suffering, I knew there was no serious underlying disease, so I was certain I would be back to normal in no time.
But the days wore on with no change. A heating pad and suggestions from a friend with a chronic back problem (lie down, tuck your chin when you bend over) didn¿t help. After a week, I became desperate. I called my cousin Gary, who is a physical therapist. When I have consulted him in the past about sprains and tendonitis, his advice has always been on target. I was confident I was in the hands of an expert.