- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (January 30, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199837201
- ISBN-13: 978-0199837205
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.5 x 6.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 57 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #990,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Nation in Pain: Healing our Biggest Health Problem 1st Edition
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*Starred Review* Health columnist Foreman didn’t fully comprehend the meaning of hurting until her own bout of severe, protracted neck pain. Five years of research and 200 interviews (with doctors, scientists, and patients) later, she discovered that inadequate management of pain is a serious health problem and, while there may not be a cure, an integrative approach to treating pain is helpful. At least 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. It triggers about 40 percent of hospital ER visits. Foreman explains the biology of pain and its connection to emotion. All sorts of treatments are reviewed, including a multitude of medicines, biofeedback, epidural steroid injections, acupuncture, marijuana, physical therapy, Botox, chiropractic manipulation, surgery, and even transplantation of fetal nerve cells. But it is exercise that tops the list. Opioids (narcotic drugs) receive plenty of attention: the good (they work); the bad (a possibility of fatal overdose); and the ugly (the potential for abuse and addiction). Foreman focuses on dueling dilemmas: people who truly require powerful prescription pain medications may find it difficult to obtain them, yet those who abuse these drugs access them much too easily. Finally, a scientific and empathetic book that sensibly sorts out the problems and possibilities of adequately controlling pain. What a relief! --Tony Miksanek
"The shadow pain casts and the toll it takes on individuals and society are revealed in this remarkable book by nationally syndicated health columnist Foreman, who chronicles the genetics of pain, types of pain receptors, and the effect of hormones and gender on pain and pain relief... this work is thoughtful and thought-provoking reading for the medical community, policymakers, and patients, especially in light of the F.D.A's recent call for tightening regulations in the administering of pain medications." --Publishers Weekly starred review
"Finally, a scientific and empathetic book that sensibly sorts out the problems and possibilities of adequately controlling pain. What a relief!" --Booklist
"Encyclopedic in scope... Foreman's text underscores the fact that pain really is an extraordinarily complex phenomenon that requires more research. If we continue head-in-the-sand policies, we will remain a nation in pain." --Kirkus Reviews
"A Nation in Pain comes to life with people who are dying or who wish they were dying. But Foreman's account goes beyond its emotional appeal and makes some rigorously reported arguments about the failure of the palliative care enterprise in America." --The Weekly Standard
"Judy Foreman has provided a masterful chronicle of the commonest of human miseries -- chronic pain. The author delves into neurobiological mechanisms and notes the failure of our educational system to prepare physicians to deliver adequate care, including the perils of ignoring benefits of non-traditional (non-Western) therapies. This is a book for everyone; scientists and sufferers, physicians and their educators." --Joseph B Martin, Lefler Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology and Dean Emeritus, Harvard Medical School
"A Nation in Pain: Healing Our Biggest Health Problem is an extensive and eye opening look into the world of pain from the heart and soul of someone who understands what it is like to live with pain. Judy Foreman explores the anatomy of pain guiding us through treatments both conventional and unconventional and the debate that many of them ignite. I found it refreshing and honest while making a strong point that we need to do a better job at managing chronic pain." --Penney Cowan, Founder, American Chronic Pain Association
"The experience of chronic pain forges new alliances and A Nation in Pain provides insights, knowledge, critiques, questions and comfort for readers -- be they individuals impacted by pain, those who care for them and those who might benefit from this thoughtful and comprehensive treatise. I am one of those individuals." --Philip Pizzo, MD, Former Dean, Stanford University School of Medicine, David and Susan Heckerman Professor of Pediatrics and of Microbiology and Immunology
"The great majority of books written on pain in the past decade provide simplistic recipes based on untested remedies. Judy Foreman's new book, A Nation in Pain, attacks the complexity of chronic pain, and thoughtfully provides a realistic approach to optimal pain management. Her research on this topic, including interviews with pain patients and pain scientists, provides a wealth of personal and professional expertise and experience. This book will be a valuable asset to patients, physicians and professional organizations wanting an encyclopedic and unbiased treatise on the very difficult topic of chronic pain." --Don L Goldenberg, M.D., Chief of Rheumatology, Newton-Wellesley Hospital; Professor of Medicine, Tufts University
"This is a book that has been waiting to be written. Tens of millions of Americans suffer from chronic, unrelenting pain, yet until now they've had nowhere to turn to understand how pain arises or what to do about it. Whatever the source of pain -- and there can be many -- it can come to dominate the sufferer's life and be soul-destroying. Foreman has written a superb analysis of this most distressing of medical conditions. Many people will thank her for it." --Marcia Angell, M.D., Senior Lecturer in Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and former Editor-in-Chief of The New England Journal of Medicine
"In this book, Judy Foreman, an award-winning health columnist has beautifully narrated the saga of chronic pain--how it happens, how far it can go; why it happens, why it happens to you, and why it happens to you more than the others; and why the suffering is often endless... I would recommend this book for everyone: those in pain, those healing pain, those learning pain, and those policing pain relievers (the drugs and the people who prescribe them)."
--R. Goyal, British Journal of Anaesthesia
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Some early facts in this book that i found to be highly interesting:
1). "[the government] spends only about 1% of its vast budget on pain research, despite the fact that chronic pain....is a bigger problem than heart disease, cancer, and diabetes COMBINED. ...Federal spending on chronic pain is actually going down."
2). Judy Foreman discussed the problem of doctors not being educated to treat or work with patients with chronic pain. She cites, "Across all the years of medical training, students got an average of 13 to 41 hours of pain education. Veterinary students got more than twice that - 87 hours on average."
3). "Out of 238 million American adults, 100 million live in chronic pain. And yet the press has paid more attention to the abusers of pain medications than the astoundingly widespread condition they are intended to treat. Ethnically, the failure to manage pain better IS TANTAMOUNT TO TORTURE."
I fully believe that we will be better as a country due to this book, the more people that read it the better. It is rare that any book fills me with this level of inspiration for positive change. I know i will read this book many times, and buy it for those who are important to me. Ms. Foreman's research appears to be ignited by her own personal experience, fueling her passion for this subject. I am further impressed as I emailed her with some of my questions and comments and she responded within 24 hours! If you are interested in improving our country and preventing the unnecessary torture of our citizens, i highly recommend you read this book!
This book falls very short, in my opinion, on offering a vision to improve pain care for she just calls for more of the same research that has failed pain sufferers in the past. As Helen Keller wrote: To see without a vision, is a terrible thing. In addition, she calls for the same people who have failed people in pain to somehow, take it seriously(Government and doctors) and she is slanted toward finding more biomedical treatments and education for pain-despite her showing evidence of inadequate effectiveness of biomedical treatments and biomedical research-and despite nowing doctors aren't interested in obtaining education in pain care. She could have called for adaptive interventions or new types of research-making use of big data or data mining biomedical or patient authored texts or improving public involvement in research on pain- or better public representation at NIH or on medical boards- but she failed to do that. Ms. Foreman, lets you see the problems with treating pain in America but fails to offer a vision to improve parlous pain care in America. I hope Ms. Foreman will consider working on a book that will explore visions to improve pain care.
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Betty W. Stone