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From The CriticsReviewer: Tariq M. Malik, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This comprehensive and up-to-date book on acute and chronic pain management includes case scenarios at the end of chapters to bring the topics to life.
Purpose: The editors aimed to produce a comprehensive, evidence-based guide for the management of pain, which they accomplish.
Audience: All physicians who manage patients in pain can benefit. Although the book is specifically meant for pain physicians, all anesthesiologists will find it helpful in their day-to-day practice. The extent of the information and the way it is presented makes it useful for any level of trainee. The topics covered are so broad that there is something for practitioners in any field.
Features: The book is broadly divided into eight sections containing 34 chapters, with an appendix of MCQs at the end. The first section lays the foundation of pain management by providing a historical perspective leading to the multidisciplinary approach we practice now. The next few sections cover the usual topics of anatomy/physiology of pain, clinical assessment, and drug pharmacology, including alternative and herbal medicines. The key focus is purely clinical, and all the information is very practical. Section five covers nonpharmacological approaches like injection techniques, acupuncture, occupational/functional restoration, and behavioral/psychological interventions. The next two sections discuss management of acute pain and chronic pain in different settings. Common conditions like postsurgical pain, labor pain, and regional techniques, as well as fibromyalgia, neck/back pain, headache, and cancer pain are covered. The emphasis is on providing information needed in real life, like how to do systematic patient evaluation to arrive at a firm diagnosis and then provide evidence-based pain management. The last sections cover topics like pain control in children and the elderly and drug addicts. The book is well written and it provides unambiguous information and clear guidance. After reading each topic, you would know what to do with a patient. The book is meant to provide a general outline for pain management, so it lacks details like injection techniques or in-depth discussions of pathophysiology of diseases, but that is not needed in daily practice.
Assessment: This is a fun book to read, if you can say that about a pain book. It presents, discusses, evaluates, and treats pain patients and their conditions as a whole and not as an isolated entity. The quality of information is very high and up to date. No book on the market rivals this one in its usefulness to trainees in anesthesia doing pain rotations or pain fellowships. The practical tips at the end of every chapter in the format of a case are a treat for every aspiring pain physician.