Why must we feel pain?
It is a question humans have asked for centuries. In this timely book, author and Harvard-trained pain specialist Dr. Aneesh Singla offers a physician’s point of view as he takes a journey through medicine, history, and the world around us to provide some insights into our experience of pain, what we can do about it, and why it hurts in the first place.
Drawing upon over a decade of experience, Dr. Singla offers an honest and insightful look at how we must balance our desire to “cure” every type of pain with the urgent need to manage the colossal problem of chronic pain, which afflicts over 116 million Americans, and many millions more across the globe.
As the opioid crisis in the United States is reaching critical levels, we live in a world where misinformation about the nature of pain is all around us. Countless books offer miracle cures for all kinds of pain, with varying levels of success. However, pain can be a transformative experience, and the idea of resilience and how pain can and does make us stronger is often ignored.
The fact is, humans have evolved to feel pain as a necessary part of life. From children born without the ability to sense pain, we have learned that a life without pain can have serious and often times fatal consequences.
In Why It Hurts, Dr. Singla takes a sobering look at how we try and manage pain based on his work as a practicing pain specialist in the nation’s largest pain practice. How each of us experience and handle our pain is deeply personal. This book offers a lens from which to see pain as more than just an inconvenience. It offers a new vision of why it hurts and what we should do about it.
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About the Author
Dr. Singla was born in New Jersey and grew up in North Carolina. After attending college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he stayed on for medical school, where he graduated with Honors and spent additional time obtaining a Masters in Public Health, with a focus on Health Policy and Administration. Dr. Singla completed his Residency in Anesthesiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and subsequently completed an Interventional Pain Management Fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital, both affiliated with Harvard Medical School. During his residency, Dr. Singla also completed a fellowship at the Harvard/Partners Institute for Health Policy, where he did research in Patient Safety. Dr. Singla also served as the Chair of the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) Resident and Fellow Section and was also a member of the Board of Directors (MMS Committee on Publications) for the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Singla has had several appearances in media, including print, radio, internet, and television to address public health issues and most recently the topic of Pain Management. Dr. Singla has published several articles and book chapters in medical literature and within the field of Pain Medicine. He currently focuses his practice on minimally invasive options for the treatment of chronic pain. He continues to serve on the physician faculty at Harvard Medical School with the title of Lecturer. He lives in Maryland with his wife and daughter.
Table of Contents
1 What is Pain? 5
2 A Blessing in Disguise 23
3 Psychological Pain 53
4 Pain in Literature and Film 77
5 I Want a New Drug 99
6 Referred Pain and the Complexity of Diagnosis 121
7 How We Manage Pain 147
8 The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday 175
Final Thoughts 193
Author Bio 195
References By Chapter 197