A week of self help books!


I hope to spend a little time reviewing self help books for chronic pain management – please note I don’t sell them, I just buy them! Anyone looking in my office will realise I spend wayyyy too much time in Amazon.com, and they make waaaayyyy too much money out of me!

Anyway, a quick review of one book today – more tomorrow.
This one is a bit of a standard, Manage your pain by Michael Nicholas, Allan Molloy, Lois Tonkin and Lee Beeston. It’s readily available, not overly expensive, and endorsed by Prof John Loeser, University of Washington, Seattle.

It’s designed to be complete, includes a lot of information, and for a self help book, spends quite a lot of time looking at investigations and treatments that may be used by medical professionals. Chapters include ‘What’s going on in your body when you have pain?’, ‘What X-rays, CT and MRI scans tell us’, ‘Working with your Doctor’, and ‘Treatments for chronic pain’. Then it starts in on the good stuff – Pacing, setting goals, recognising obstacles to change, stretching and exercising, challenging ways of thinking etc.

Three observations about this book –
1. On the helpful side, it’s Australasian, so for those of us from Down Under it refers to things quite familiar.
2. On the not so good side, I found it quite text-dense which could be off-putting for so many of the people I work with who have very limited literacy.
3. The other not so good aspect is that it doesn’t include worksheets or ways to personalise the application of strategies to an individual. I think it could be quite easy to glance through the book and just not use the very helpful information that is included.

I’d suggest this book is one you might provide as a supplement to individualised input by a health professional, and perhaps set individualised goals as you and the client work through the contents. Or it may be one that is held as a reference in a health centre, with certain chapters provided to the person with chronic pain as needed.

Oh, by the way – I hadn’t heard of Fishpond online bookstore in New Zealand until a couple of weeks ago – yet another place I’ll need to lock up my credit card from!!

Manage Your Pain
Practical and Positive Ways of Adapting to Chronic Pain
By Michael Nicholas, Allan Molloy, Lois Tonkin
Format: Paperback, 224 pages
Published In: United States, September 2006
Publisher: Souvenir Press
ISBN: 0285636790
EAN: 9780285636798

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