Below is a list of the chapters in the book along with a brief description of the chapter content. Hopefully, you will notice I try to weave some humor into a difficult subject. This is intentional as chronic pain is difficult enough as it is without adding more weight and heaviness to the subject. So we might as well have some fun while we’re at it.
- Chapter 1 – Introduction – This chapter provides general information, stats and an overview of the book, its design, and underlying philosophy/principals.
- Chapter 2 – The Back Story – The Author’s Journey – I present it to establish credibility as evidence chronic pain can take a backseat and not ruin one’s life.
- Chapter 3 – Ouch! That Hurts – Understanding Pain and the Nervous System – This chapter explains pain mechanisms and how they work. Many aspects of following chapters build on the concepts and terminology presented here. More in-depth information on the brain and nervous system are found in the appendices for those wanting greater knowledge of the incredible brain and nervous systems.
- Chapter 4 – God or the Guy in Blue Jeans – Your Doctor(s) – I discuss how to find and interview competent healthcare providers. Equally important is appropriate patient preparation for every appointment with a provider. This helps establish rational expectations for both patients/clients and their providers. Finding competent and empathetic practitioners is critical to building a multidisciplinary team, with the patient at the helm directing your medical care.
- Chapter 5 – Protecting the Temple – The BIO in BIOpsychosocial – This could be the most important chapter in the book regarding physical wellbeing. It describes how chronic pain sufferers can mitigate pain through movement, diet, exercise and more. It describes ways to nurture and protect one’s brain and body leading you to a healthier life.
- Chapter 6 – Am I Losing My Marbles: – The PSYCHO in bioPSYCHOsocial – This chapter discusses psychological aspects of pain. These are import as they will help develop a deeper understanding of one’s self, and those things one can do to move in positive forward directions as one journeys to a thriving life. Much of chronic pain is modulated up or down depending on you emotional wellbeing. The brain processes pain information in the same regions of the brain where emotions are process. Therefore, it is important that the pain patient possesses an objective view of their pain experience.
- Chapters 7 – Get the Hell Out – The SOCIAL in biopsychoSOCIAL – Social isolation and discrimination are common challenges the chronic pain person endures. I crafted this chapter to help you understand and navigate the social challenges chronic pain sufferers often endure, and how to respond to them. Additionally, I discuss the importance of reaching out and establishing healthy and supportive relationships with individuals and groups.
- Chapter 8 – Drugs-Friend or Foe – Drugs in Pain Management – Documents some recent history of drug therapies for chronic pain, associated challenges, such as the “Opioid Crisis” and considering new options and approaches. I discuss the challenges both patients and providers encounter managing needed prescription medications.
- Chapter 9 – Exploring the Horizon – Therapeutic Options – This chapter enumerates many various therapeutic options for those with chronic pain to consider (with their providers) presenting the pros and cons of each general type of therapy.
- Chapter 10 Don’t Go It Alone – What You and Your Support Network Should Know – This chapter discusses the importance of having or establishing a support network for the patient and their family/caregivers. It provides valuable information for both those with chronic pain and their caregivers or support network.
- Chapter 11 – Rewiring the House – Neuroscience and Neuroplasticity – Pain neuroscience education is therapy. This chapter presents scientific evidence and practical skills for retraining your brain and unlearning your pain. This chapter is a “recap” and integration of concepts presented in previous chapters.
- Chapter 12- Being True and Kind to Yourself – Decisions and Accountability – This speaks to issues, decisions and accountability regarding patients, physicians, treatment efficacy, self-care, pain management, support, medications, and more.
NOTE: The appendices are all online and available under “Appendices“.