Top 5 books for pain management

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There is no single cause for why two people experiencing same injury, receiving same interventions can go on to have very different pain experiences with the acute pain in one reducing within few days while the other goes on to experience chronic, recurrent pain. This has been attributed to physical, psychological, social, environmental or behavioural characteristics. Thus understanding pain management has remained a challenge for even the most gifted clinicians. There have been thousands of books written to explain various aspects of pain. In this article, I have highlighted the top 10 books pertaining to understanding and managing pain. 

1. Explain Pain  Explain Pain aims to demystify the process of understanding and managing pain. It brings the body to life in a way that makes an interesting read for therapists and pain sufferers alike. All pain is real, and for many people it is a debilitating part of everyday life. It is now known that understanding more about why things hurt can actually help someone understand their pain and go about their daily life. Recent advances in fields such as neurophysiology, brain imaging, immunology, psychology and cellular biology have provided an explanatory platform from which to explore pain. In everyday language accompanied by quirky illustrations, Explain Pain discusses how pain responses are produced by the brain: how responses to injury from the autonomic motor and immune systems in your body contribute to pain, and why pain can persist after tissues have had plenty of time to heal.

Explain Pain aims to give clinicians and people in pain the power to challenge pain and to consider new models for viewing what happens during pain. Once they have learnt about the processes involved they can follow a scientific route to recovery. This is one of the must read books for anyone working with pain patients. This book is an excellent resource for understanding how pain works in our brains and nervous systems. The text is delivered in a non technical way for ease of understanding and is very informative. This book is frequently recommended by the physiotherapists to their patients suffering from chronic pain and an excellent recommendation, I must say. If you are a physiotherapist and have not read Explain Pain, do it today. 

2. Managing Pain Before It Manages You, Fourth Edition - Top pain specialist and physician Margaret A. Caudill spells out 10 steps that can radically change the way pain sufferers feel--both physically and emotionally. From finding the best treatments to coping with flareups, solving everyday problems, and harnessing the power of relaxation techniques, the book is packed with tested solutions that users can tailor to their own needs. The fully updated fourth edition incorporates important advances in pain management and mind-body medicine. It features new content on mindfulness, a "Quick Skill" section in each chapter with simple exercises that can have an immediate impact, updated supplementary reading and resources (including smartphone apps), and more. Written for use by patients, it has been hailed as by far the best and most up-to-date step-by-step pain management manual on the market. It provides the tangible tools for patients to manage their own pain through alleviating anxiety and emotional stress and providing means to reduce their symptoms and improve function. 

3. Pain Medicine and Management: Just the Facts While written for Pain Medicine certification, this book is an invaluable tool for other clinicians as well. It covers the basic principles such as Pain Physiology, Epidemiology, Gender Issues, Placebo Response, Pain Taxonomy, and Ethics. It also discusses evaluation of the Patient, analgesic pharmacology, acute pain management, regional pain, chronic pain management, and special techniques in pain management. The focus is not on physiotherapy though TENS and acupuncture are discussed. 

4. Essentials of Pain Management Essentials of Pain Management is a concise, evidence-based guide that stresses a multidisciplinary approach to pain and provides a thorough review of clinical principles and procedures. Edited by faculty from Yale and Harvard Medical Schools, Essentials provides a practical approach to pain management for every type of pain management practitioner. Features: * Extensive case vignettes illustrating specific pain management challenges and solutions * Multiple-choice questions with detailed answers useful for exam preparation * In-depth discussions of palliative medicine, end-of-life care, physical therapy and acupuncture, behavioral therapy, and pediatric and elderly pain * A formulary of commonly used drugs for an easy go-to reference for every office * Special considerations for nurses and dentists From career choices in pain management to the specific drugs, procedures, and therapies that can alleviate pain, Essentials of Pain Management is a valuable resource for all pain management practitioners.

5. The Mindfulness Solution to Pain: Step-by-Step Techniques for Chronic Pain Managment While treatments like medication and physiotherapy can be enormously beneficial to the body, to maximize pain relief, it’s necessary to take advantage of the mind’s healing abilities. This book offers a revolutionary new treatment approach, mindfulness-based chronic pain management, that helps you harness your mind’s power to quiet your pain and put you in control. 

This book helps to understand how emotions and thoughts affect physical symptoms, reverse the debilitating effects of some chronic pain conditions, Prevent pain from becoming chronic or long-term, Lift the anxiety and depression that may accompany chronic pain. 

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