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A Pain Doctor’s Guide to Relief –Confronting Chronic Pain

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Title: A Pain Doctor’s Guide to Relief – Confronting Chronic Pain

Authors: Steven Richeimer and Kathy Steligo

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

Reviewer: Lynda Sibson, telemedicine manager, Addenbrookes Hospital

What was it like?

This book, written by a doctor specialising in pain management and a freelance writer in health topics, addresses the comprehensive issue of chronic pain, from its anatomy and physiology, traditional and complementary therapies to the impact of the family and the future of pain management. This paperback book represents an easy to read and easy to understand guide both for newly diagnosed patients and for patients with a long-term history of chronic pain.

Although written by US authors, the majority of the text is applicable to UK patients and provides some useful links to websites, a useful glossary and presents a range of articles and evidence that would be of use both to patients and their healthcare practitioners. The book is divided into 10 useful chapters, commencing with a useful illustrated chapter on the “science” of pain – outlining the key differences between acute and chronic pain – to chapters focusing on specific conditions causing chronic pain, medications, nutrition, exercise, complementary and alternative therapies, pacing, spirituality, the impact of pain on the family, taking control of the pain and finally the future of pain management.

What were the highlights? 

The book is easy to read, with comprehensive chapters, that readers can easily dip into the book as needed, and also has useful sections on patient’s experiences, providing useful examples of their experiences, which readers can relate to.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The book’s strengths lie the readability of the text – specifically patient’s examples and many clear, practical suggestions on pain management, which very much encourages self-management; encouraging patients with chronic pain to take control of their pain and their lives.

The only potential weakness is that this is a US text and therefore some of the treatments and medications may not be relevant or accessible to UK patients and healthcare system.

Who should read it?

This book is aimed at patients with chronic pain, but would also be useful for any healthcare professionals interested in chronic pain

A Pain Doctor’s Guide to Relief –Confronting Chronic Pain


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