The Bottom Line
- Thorough introduction to the topic of pain medicine.
- Written by a specialist in the field and published by a prestigious medical association.
- Considers the individual in diagnosing, managing and treating pain.
- For the most part is easy to read.
- Writing can get dense at times.
- Only about 5 percent of people who take opioids for pain become addicted. Read it on page 78.
- Meditation and biofeedback are cognitive treatments that may reverse the pain response. It's on page 47.
- To make a diagnosis, the doctor relies on you to provide an accurate and clear description of your pain. It's in Chapter 2.
Guide Review - "Understanding Pain" from the American Academy of Neurology
The longest chapter in the book is also the densest one, but is worth the read if you can get through it. Entitled "Anatomy of Pain – The Basis for Selecting Treatment Options," it describes the roles of pain pathways in the generation and interpretation of pain. Dr. Gould says that this understanding of pain pathways provides the foundation for developing a treatment plan that works.
The last chapter, called "Age and Sex – Special Considerations," covers those unanswered questions that may easily fall through the cracks when speaking with your health-care provider. Some examples include how to recognize pain in infants (as they cannot speak for themselves), misconceptions about pain and the elderly, and difference in pain tolerance between men and women.
This book is loaded with information on how the field of pain medicine works and for the most part is well-written and easy to understand. I highly recommend it in your quest for taking responsibility for your own pain.