SUGGESTED READING

Click on the book's cover to see price and ordering information. Pain News Network receives a small amount of the proceeds -- at no additional cost to the buyer -- for orders placed through Amazon.

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

Backbone: Living With Chronic Pain Without Turning Into One by Karen Duffy

If you believe laughter is the best medicine, then “Backbone” is for you. In this inspirational and funny book, Karen Duffy recounts her struggles with chronic pain from sarcoidosis and how she learned to cope with it through perseverance and spunk. Duffy also offers tips to healthy people on how to be supportive and helpful to loved ones who have chronic pain.

The Kratom Cure: Potent Plant for Pain, Anxiety, Addiction by Joanne Hillyer

In this beginner’s guide to kratom, Joanne Hillyer examines both the benefits and drawbacks of kratom and the history of how it has been used for centuries in southeast Asia as a natural stimulant and pain reliever. Hillyer also explores the various strains of kratom, where to get it, and looks at the growing controversy over its use. Is kratom a dangerous narcotic that should be banned or a helpful, healing herb?

Real Food Heals by Seamus Mullen

“Iron Chef” star Seamus Mullen thought his career as a chef was over when he developed chronic joint pain and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Mullen restored his health by changing his diet — and now avoids foods that are processed or cause inflammation. In this cookbook, the celebrity chef shares his recipes for healthy eating with natural ingredients.

The Story of Pain: From Prayers to Painkillers by Joanna Burke

This book examines the history of pain since the 18th century, when many people believed that pain was a message from God and submission to pain was seen as redemptive. Today, pain is seen more as an evil that needs to be “fought” with painkillers and other therapies. Joanna Burke says knowing the history of pain can help us understand our own suffering and that of those around us.

Living Pain Free: Healing Chronic Pain with Myofascial Release by Amanda Oswald

Myofascial release expert Amanda Oswald explains how fascia — the main connective tissue in the body — is the key to restoring pain-free health and motion. She explains how stretches, exercises and other self-care techniques can relieve migraines, headaches, jaw (TMJ) pain, frozen shoulder, neck and back pain, pelvic pain and conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and myofascial pain syndrome.

Heal Me: In Search of a Cure by Julia Buckley

Travel writer Julia Buckley went a a global quest to find an alternative treatment for her pain from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Buckley underwent a voodoo exorcism in Haiti, was doused with chicken blood in South Africa, and met a California masseur who believes he is guided by angels. Buckley says the best advice came from a Brazilian faith healer who taught her that meditation can help relieve pain.

American Overdose by Chris McGreal

Chris McGreal traces the history of the opioid crisis in the United States — starting with Purdue Pharma and OxyContin — and how it spread from Appalachia to the rest of the country. Purdue is not the sole bad actor, as McGreal is also critical of the healthcare industry, law enforcement, politicians and regulators who adopted opioid policies based on greed, ignorance and political agendas.

The Medicalization of Marijuana by Michelle Newhart and William Dolphin

This book explores the changing public attitudes about marijuana and its transformation from a stigmatized illegal drug to a promising new medical treatment. Individual stories capture how patients are using marijuana to treat chronic pain, anxiety and other medical conditions, and how doctors are slowly and reluctantly accepting cannabis as a form of medicine.

Stem Cells: The Healing Revolution by Dr. Raj Banerjee

This book answers some of the most basic questions about stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine. Dr. Raj Banerjee, who founded a clinic in St. Louis nearly two decades ago, shares the testimonials of his patients while exploring the history, challenges and benefits of stem cell therapy and how it can be used to treat a wide range of chronic pain conditions, including arthritis and degenerative disc disease.

Dopesick by Beth Macy

Journalist Beth Macy looks at the opioid crisis from multiple perspectives, including physicians and pharmacists, law enforcement and attorneys, community leaders and drug dealers. Macy examines opioid addiction with compassion and concern, but perpetuates many media-driven myths about pain patients and prescription opioids.

Unlearn Your Pain by Dr. Howard Schubiner

This is the third edition of Dr. Howard Schubiner book on the “Mind Body Syndrome” — the theory that many chronic pain conditions are the result of unresolved stress and emotional issues. Schubiner explains how to rid yourself of pain without drugs, surgery or psychotherapy by “unlearning” your pain.

The Furnace of Fire by Elaine Ballard

Elaine Ballard suffered a severe back injury when she was 22 years old. Fifty years later, she is confined mostly to bed and recently learned she has arachnoiditis. Ballard wrote this book about arachnoiditis to help educate other pain sufferers about the disease and to share how her Christian faith helped her through many difficult times and pain flares.

Kratom Book by Katharine Gideon

Katharine Gideon explains how the leaves of a tree that grows in southeast Asia can be used as a natural remedy to manage pain, anxiety and depression. She explains the different strains of kratom and how they can be used in capsules, extracts, teas and powders to treat a wide variety of medical conditions.

 

Cannabis for Chronic Pain by Rav Ivker, DO

Dr. Rav Ivker is a family physician and holistic healer who learned about the pain relieving benefits of medical marijuana while treating his own severe case of shingles. He examines the benefits and appropriate use of cannabis to treat arthritis, back pain, migraines, fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions.

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.

Back in Control by David Hanscom, MD

Seattle spine surgeon Dr. David Hanscom has helped hundreds of back pain sufferers by teaching them how to calm their central nervous systems without the use of drugs or surgery. Hanscom shares the latest developments in neuroscience research and his own personal history with pain, which at one point led him to consider suicide.

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.

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.

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.

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.