Rack and ruin
When something goes to rack and ruin it means complete destruction or worthlessness and unlike rack one’s brains, it has nothing to do with rack as in the medieval torture device. Rack in this instance is the modern form of the old, obsolete English word ‘wrack’, which has now been replaced by wreck. Thus, the expression, originally, would have been wrack and ruin and existed in this form from the early 15th century. One hundred or so years later, during the early 1500s, it had become rack and ruin, the expression we know today.