Overcoming Pain – David Hall’s new book!


Every now and then you run into someone who makes a real impact on you – Dave’s one of those people.  I met him in Sydney at the International Association for the Study of Pain World Congress in 2005 (take a look here at the information on the next one), and we’ve intermittently kept in touch by email ever since.  David is one of these almost relentlessly energetic people – he looks fit, healthy and balanced.  You’d never guess that he’s experienced chronic neck pain and has had to learn how to become ‘CAPABLE’ so he can live this good life.

His book (and pain management programme by the same name) is called Overcoming Pain, and it’s available from his website at the very reasonable price of Aus$25 + postage.  It’s all about the things he’s learned as a physiotherapist, person experiencing pain, and avid reader of lots of good research, and what’s more, he’s got a refreshing and down-to-earth style that makes what he says easy to digest.

The book is a slim paperback with 157 pages of cleanly-laid out text.  It has 12 chapters covering things like Dave’s own story, understanding pain, physical recovery, psychological recovery and something that’s a bit unusual in self help books: how to use the health system effectively.  He includes a good number of excellent references, some great illustrations and another thing that I thought was a distinctive feature – case examples of people who have demonstrated how they have become CAPABLE.

What does CAPABLE mean?

C – confronting the true causes of your pain

A – acknowledging responsibility for your situation

P – problem solving your way to recovery

A – assertiveness to change your situation

B – bravery to overcome your fears

L – Look forward by setting goals

E – Enjoying the journey…

There are always aspects of a self help book that don’t fit with my views on managing pain – I’m not entirely convinced by the section on ‘core stability’, and the word ‘overcoming’ sounds a bit like the relationship between you and pain is some kind of war – BUT I think these are tiny bits of what is overall an excellent self help book that I’ll definitely recommend to people I see.  It would certainly sit nicely on a GP, physiotherapy or occupational therapy shelf, but might need to be chained down because I could see people taking off with it!

If you don’t believe my review, head over to here for some other reviews by people who’ve read Overcoming Pain.

Oh, and no you can’t have my copy, I’m going to re-read it (and that’s really unusual for me!)

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