SUGGESTED READING

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If there is a book or publication that's helped you manage chronic pain and might help others, let us know.

Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry by Cathryn Jakobson Ramin

Investigative journalist and back pain sufferer Cathryn Jakobson Ramin spent six years looking at the pros and cons of surgery, opioids, chiropractic care, epidural steroid injections and other types of treatment for back pain. Her conclusion? You're better off with a structured exercise program. 

The Painful Truth by Lynn Webster, MD

Pain specialist Dr. Lynn Webster shares the inspirational stories of patients struggling with chronic pain, and examines the benefits and risks of opioid medication, the importance of caregivers, and how patients can have fulfilling lives even in the worst pain situations. The Painful Truth offers a path toward awareness, hope and healing.

A Nation in Pain by Judy Foreman

Award-winning health journalist Judy Foreman spoke with doctors, scientists, policy makers and patients for her sweeping account of the chronic pain crisis in America. Foreman examines possible solutions -- such as better pain education in medical schools -- and the misguided demonization of opioid medication and pain sufferers.

Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari

Journalist Johann Hari looks back at the 100 year history of the "War on Drugs" in the United States, revealing the true causes and unintended consequences of drug prohibition.  Hari contends that the demonization of drugs, both legal and illegal, along with policies that attempt to control their use, have only made the drug problem worse.

Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz

Journalist Maia Szalavitz offers a fresh perspective on addiction as a condition that should be seen as a learning disorder, not a moral failing or brain disease. Szalavitz shares her own personal story to show that addiction is caused not just by chemicals, but is a complex combination of each individual's genes, early life experiences, and social situation.

The Rebel Patient by Margaret Aranda, MD

PNN Columnist Margaret Aranda is a Stanford-trained anesthesiologist whose life and career were upended by a traumatic brain injury. For years she struggled to get a correct diagnosis and have her symptoms taken seriously. Aranda became an advocate for herself and other pain patients, and shares the valuable lessons she learned as a doctor who became a "rebel patient." 

From Wheels to Heals by Barby Ingle

PNN Columnist and iPain founder Barby Ingle draws on 20 years of experience navigating the healthcare system as a pain patient looking for answers and relief. Once confined to bed and a wheelchair, Barby developed the "nerve to be heard" and learned how to be her own best advocate when dealing with physicians, insurers and providers.

It Hurts like Hell! by Ellen Lenox Smith

PNN columnist Ellen Lenox Smith was in the prime of her life when she suddenly had trouble walking, swimming and working. It led to a diagnosis of Ehlers Danlos syndrome -- a progressive, disabling and incurable disease that affects connective tissue. How Ellen learned to accept her painful condition and still enjoy life.

A Pained Life by Carol Levy

PNN columnist Carol Levy writes about her 30-year struggle to live with and fight against the pain of trigeminal neuralgia, a chronic facial pain disorder known as the "worst pain known to man." Carol fought for years just to get a proper diagnosis and to overcome skepticism by medical professionals and her own family.

Broken Body, Wounded Spirit by Celeste Cooper, RN, and Jeff Miller, PhD

Fibromyalgia sufferer Celeste Cooper and co-author Jeff Miller offer practical advice on coping with pain in a series of books modeled after the four seasons of the year. They explore integrative pain therapies and offer daily bits of wisdom to help readers overcome the challenges of living with chronic pain.

Drug Dealer, MD by Anna Lembke, MD

Stanford psychiatrist Anna Lembke -- a board member of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) -- looks at the origins of the opioid epidemic and the role played by drug makers in promoting the use of opioid pain medication. Lembke says the healthcare system is broken and focuses too much on pills, procedures and patient satisfaction over wellness.

The Opioid-Free Pain Relief Kit by Beth Darnall, PhD

Pain psychologist Beth Darnall offers ten simple steps to relieve pain without the use of opioids, including ways to "quiet" pain through meditation and stress reduction. The book includes an innovative 20-minute CD that uses binaural sound technology to help listeners relax and "deamplify" pain signals.

No Grain, No Pain by Peter Osborne

An expert on gluten sensitivity and food allergies, Dr. Peter Osborne explores how a grain-heavy diet can cause chronic pain by triggering an autoimmune system response. He offers a 30-day, grain-free diet plan to help readers "heal yourself from the inside out."

Noah the Narwhal by Judith Klausner

Author Judith Klausner, who grew up with chronic migraines, wrote this children's book to help kids cope with headache pain. It tells the story of Noah, a narwhal whale, who suffers from daily bouts of chronic pain. “My head feels like it’s full of sea urchins," Noah says.

Color Away the Pain by Jack Plaxe

An adult coloring book inspired by a group of women with chronic pain who use coloring for its therapeutic benefits. Their beautiful illustrations are interspersed with their stories about living with pain. All royalties from the book donated to the Chronic Pain Research Alliance.

Paindemic by Melissa Cady, DO

Osteopathic physician Melissa Cady believes opioids should not be a first-line treatment for chronic pain, and that there are many other unnecessary and risky interventions that provide little benefit. She advocates an "antiPAIN lifetstyle" that focuses initially on physical therapy and exercise.