12 Great Gifts of Knowledge About Chronic Pain

By Pat Anson, Editor

Still looking for a special gift for a loved one over the holidays? If they live with chronic pain -- or if you have pain and want a friend or relative to have a better understanding of what you're going through -- here are 12 books that would make great gifts.

These and other books can be found in our Suggested Reading section. I recently added new books about kratom and medical cannabis, along with a novel based on a true story about a pain physician whose reputation and practice were ruined by prosecutors.

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 you -- for orders placed through Amazon.

Kratom Book by Katharine Gideon

In this beginner's guide to kratom, Katharine Gideon explains how the leaves of a tree that grows in southeast Asia have been used for centuries as a natural remedy to manage pain and depression. She explains the different strains of kratom and how they can be used in capsules, extracts, teas and powders to treat a 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 offers step by step instructions on the benefits and appropriate use of medical marijuana to treat arthritis, back pain, migraines, fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions.

Back in Control by David Hanscom, MD

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.


Pain on Trial by J.Z. Gassko

J.Z. Gassko bases this novel on the true story of a well-respected doctor whose reputation and practice were ruined by overzealous prosecutors. The book describes the complex world of pain management and how the "relentless war" against opioid addiction impacts both patients and medical professionals.


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.


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.


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.