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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Tariq M. Malik, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This comprehensive review of acute and chronic pain management covers every clinical pain topic and comes with access to an online version. The fourth edition is necessary to keep the book relevant and up to date with the advances in the field since the 2000 edition.
Purpose: It covers every aspect of pain management from injection therapies to medications to other modalities. It is practically an encyclopedia of pain knowledge.
Audience: There is something for everyone in this book, even physicians who are not pain specialists. In fact, primary care physicians will find it helpful to gain a much deeper understanding of pain management and its limitations.
Features: The book is broadly divided into six parts. The first part explores the history of pain, pain physiology and anatomy, and the role of genetics and psychology in pain. Part two, a new addition, covers the medicolegal aspects of pain, particularly the litigation that can come with prescribing controlled substances and performing injection therapies. Part three details the clinical and social evaluation of patients, including disability evaluation. Part four covers the different pain conditions, including neuropathic pain syndromes, musculoskeletal pain, cancer pain, pain in the elderly and children, visceral pain, and low back pain, which gets a whole section to itself. Part five evaluates the pharmacology of drugs used in pain, injection therapies, psychological interventions, and surgical options. The final part covers the provision of pain treatment. The book is well written and the chapters are short and easy to read. The information is practical and clinically useful. All chapters have a similar format: an introduction to the problem, its prevalence, pathophysiology, diagnostic criteria, and management. The management discussion covers all options, including whether they are clinically proven to be effective. Recommendations are forthright and clear cut.
Assessment: This book is a pure joy to read. It is an objective and authoritative account of pain management that stresses a multimodal approach rather than a narrow focus on injection therapies and drugs. It has very useful information on caring for chronic pain patients, a subject often lacking in many other pain books. The book has once again proven itself as the standard textbook of pain for pain specialists.