Where can you find a George H.W. Bush impersonator riffing on Tiger Woods, serious talk about the health care reform bill, and a well-known jazz singer sharing her struggle with back pain?
Neurosurgeon Dr. Ezriel Kornel covered all those topics during his radio show Sunday night on WOR-AM. Kornel, a 20-year resident of Bedford Hills, hosts the show Back Talk Live!, which gives listeners information and advice on one of the most common ailments in the country – neck and back pain.
According to Consumer Reports, 80 percent of Americans say they have been bothered by back pain at some point, and the majority of those sufferers said their back pain had severely limited their lives, affecting everything from sleep to weight gain to sex.
Because the problem is so common, Kornel approached WOR-AM about a radio show that would educate people on back pain and other neurological conditions.
"We wanted it to be a fast-paced talk show – a mix of information and entertainment. Something very accessible and interesting," Kornel said.
Kornel, who has an office in White Plains, is a leader in the field of minimally invasive neurosurgery of the spine and brain, and he develops surgical instruments used in endoscopic and minimally-invasive spine surgery. Kornel says he always explores non-surgical options, such as working with a physical therapist or chiropractor, before considering surgery.
This week's show, dubbed "Fear Factor," dealt with patients trying to decide if they should undergo surgery or not. Jazz vocalist Carol Fredette was on the show to talk about her 30-year battle with chronic back pain.
"I'm always in pain," Fredette said. "Except for this knife in my back, I'm fine." Fredette noted the only time she doesn't feel pain is when she sings.
"When your mind is on something you love to do, you don't feel the pain," Kornel told her.
Past guests have included James Kiberd, best known for his role as Trevor Dillon on the soap opera "All My Children," who described how an injury to his knee nearly wrecked his back; and Kent Thuesen, a one-time body builder and Mr. America, who recently underwent spinal fusion surgery.
Kornel also answers questions from callers and e-mailers. "I look forward to hearing from people and, hopefully, we'll be able to shed light on what ails them, or, at least, give them some practical knowledge about how their everyday activities can impact their health," Kornel said.