This is a historical document. Gerald Burke, MD, a patient and meticulous medical researcher, was the first to attempt a detailed analysis of the persistent crippling problem of backache, and his work embraced the historical record from the time of Hippocrates to the recorded works of his colleagues in the Korean War era. Dr. Burke was also an orthopaedic surgeon, and he includes the results of thousands of surgeries and laboratory studies. The diagnostic and treatment techniques perfected by Dr.Burke and described herein are essentially the same as those being used in modern medical practice.

Dr. Burke was a dedicated medical researcher and university lecturer, carefully documenting the progress of his own work and the work of his colleagues as they pursued answers to this widespread medical puzzle. Almost everyone knows the the problem of debilitating backache. After Dr.Burke published the results of his first analysis of the backache issue, his colleagues urged him to expand upon the documentation of his pioneering efforts, and this book was the result. Although the tools and techniques are now seen as of another era, and the prose is slightly politically incorrect in modern times, the principles discovered are timeless, and the book remains a valuable practical resource for the modern physician and the lay public.

Sixty years after publication of the book, this website helps to support the availability of Dr.Burke's innovative look at the problem of backache. The print edition was naturally set in the standard fixed metal type of the era, and the illustrations by Fred Richards and Reilly Burke were done with pen-and-ink tools of the traditional medical illustrator. The web edition is as true to the original edition as possible, but minor changes have been made to accommodate the new publishing technologies. Where relevant fundamental technologies have changed (CT and MRI diagnostics , for example) explanatory notes have been added. Some minor typographical errors were corrected, colour was added, and internet links have been added to aid the modern researcher.

Gerald Burke's pioneering analysis of the problem of backache saw several printings and sold world-wide in the early 1960s. After he passed away in 1968, publication ceased as the last printing sold down. Good copies of this book can still be found on in the various used and collector pages. His work has been referenced countless times by later researchers and practitioners. The most recent work to mention Dr.Burke's pioneering work is Suspensionthérapie et pouliethérapie - Guide pratique by Bernard Grumler, available through Sauramps Médical

Comments, of course, may be directed to the publisher, and are welcomed.

Reilly Burke
Intelligent Webware Partnership Richmond, Canada, 2012