The best books on chronic pain that provide you with the understanding to start recovering from it

Who am I?

As a physiotherapist for 25 years, chronic pain has always fascinated me. Understanding the variety of factors that contribute to its development and continuance always felt enigmatic. It always seemed I was missing part of the puzzle or that the patient was. The pathway of trial and error, accident, and luck were part of a slow and frustrating journey to my level of understanding today. My recommendations have been fundamental pieces of my learning and as well as my own work, now contribute to one possible pathway for other patients and clinicians to interpret chronic pain and recover from it without the historic difficulty that many have attempted to overcome.

I wrote...

The Pain Habit: Your Journey To Recovery. Discover the Truth About Your Pain

By Drew Coverdale,

Book cover of The Pain Habit: Your Journey To Recovery. Discover the Truth About Your Pain

What is my book about?

Are you one of the one in five people worldwide who suffer from a condition that results in living with persistent pain? The ability to recover from pain, no matter how long we have experienced it, lies within all of us. It exists within you.

Not everyone knows how to achieve that. Do you? Those who do recover intuitively tap into that ability without thinking. Others don't know where to look, then look everywhere outside of themselves, then believe recovery is impossible and finally stop looking anymore. Has that happened to you? If you've suffered long enough and feel ready to take the steps towards becoming pain-free, you're ready for this book.

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The books I picked & why

Explain Pain

By David Butler, G. Lorimer Moseley,

Book cover of Explain Pain

Why did I love this book?

I found explain pain an amazing book to help make the transition from a biomedical pursuit of pain from the clinician to one that incorporates a biopsychosocial approach to persistent pain resolution for the patient. I loved the way the technical descriptions are weaved into clinical applications and the layout makes a very complicated subject fascinating, fun, and interesting to learn more about. The physiological and neuroscientific framing helped me explain to patients confidently when challenging outdated beliefs around pain, which are often the greatest barrier to overcoming it. 

By David Butler, G. Lorimer Moseley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Explain Pain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

[***PUBLISHER'S NOTE - JUNE 2021: We have worked extensively to update this ebook version for the Kindle Fire Tablet (KF8) and Mac iOS (.azx files), including a new and improved Regional Magnification option whereby readers can open a 'pop up' magnification of the text and images should they be too small to read with clarity. However, other Kindle e-readers, Kindle APPs for iOS and Android, or Kindle-4-PC/Mac may not give the same quality or standard of reading. Therefore please check your Kindle device before purchasing as not all Kindle devices will read this fixed mobipocket formatted ebook. By purchasing this…

Book cover of Chronic Pain: Your Key to Recovery

Why did I love this book?

When I came across Georgie’s book I absolutely devoured its content. Knowing that she had spent time with Dr. John Sarno outlined how passionate she was about her work in this mind-body field. She provided me with inspiration for writing my own book and having personally connected with her, I know her book is as authentic as she is. I found the explanations helpful and easily understandable and it propelled me with so much more enthusiasm for further reading around this subject.

By Georgie Oldfield,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chronic Pain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Can you really cure chronic pain without drugs, surgery or therapy? Surprisingly often the answer is Yes. While chronic pain can have a physical cause, this book, written by a leading UK Physiotherapist and chronic pain specialist, reveals how very real, and even debilitating pain, can frequently be caused by our brain in response to repressed emotions as a result of current and even past experiences. This process is at the root of many common complaints, including back pain, sciatica, migraines, fibromyalgia, repetitive strain injuries, digestive disorders and many medically unexplained symptoms. This self-empowering book explains research findings, describes dozens…

Book cover of When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress

Why did I love this book?

This book was a game-changer for me in terms of my understanding of the link between pain and stress. It was absolutely fascinating to see how various body systems failed under stress and how Gabor outlined the case studies from his patients to illustrate this. The amazing thing with these stress-related illnesses was that pain comes before many of them manifest. So being able to explain the true meaning of pain and the importance of preventing other disease processes, became my mission after finishing his amazing book.

By Gabor Maté,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked When the Body Says No as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Can a person literally die of loneliness? Is there a connection between the ability to express emotions and Alzheimer's disease? Is there such a thing as a 'cancer personality'?

Drawing on deep scientific research and Dr Gabor Mate's acclaimed clinical work, When the Body Says No provides the answers to critical questions about the mind-body link - and the role that stress and our emotional makeup play in an array of common diseases.

When the Body Says No:

- Explores the role of the mind-body link in conditions and diseases such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome…

Book cover of The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time

Why did I love this book?

This book helped me grasp the unconscious nature of most of our behaviours and the neuroscience behind it. This was so important to me to understand how pain is wired within us, so that you can translate that back to a patient in a way they understand it. When I learned about the neuroscientific drivers behind pain and precipitating behaviours I realised that blame was so easy to remove from the patient and clinician vocabulary when helping someone towards recover.  It made so much common sense to me and has been a great help in helping change people's perceptions and behaviours around their pain. 

By Alex Korb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Upward Spiral as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Depression doesn't happen all at once. It starts gradually and builds momentum over time. If you go through a difficult experience, you may stop taking care of yourself. You may stop exercising and eating healthy, which will end up making you feel even worse as time goes on. You are caught in a downward spiral, but you may feel too tired, too overwhelmed, and too scared to try and pull yourself back up. The good news is that just one small step can be a step in the right direction.

In The Upward Spiral, neuroscientist Alex Korb demystifies the neurological…

Book cover of The Way Out: A Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven Approach to Healing Chronic Pain

Why did I love this book?

Alan Gordon is such a great communicator and his book spoke to me personally. It probably does the same for many others and his compassionate tone outlines the reasons why pain can become persistent. The same calming explanations also offer real opportunities to reverse the pain and they are all based on scientific research. This gives validation to their use and their practical application is so easy to apply by simply reading the descriptions. I felt really excited that this book in particular could start to create a push back against many years of medical dogma, and support both patients and clinicians in this emerging field of healthcare for those in persistent pain.

By Alan Gordon, Alon Ziv,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Way Out as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking mind-body protocol to heal chronic pain, backed by new research.

Chronic pain is an epidemic. Fifty million Americans struggle with back pain, headaches, or some other pain that resists all treatment. Desperate pain sufferers are told again and again that there is no cure for chronic pain.

Alan Gordon, a psychotherapist and the founder of the Pain Psychology Center in Los Angeles, was in grad school when he started experiencing chronic pain and it completely derailed his life. He saw multiple doctors and received many diagnoses, but none of the medical treatments helped. Frustrated with conventional pain management,…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in chronic pain, stress, and alternative medicine?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about chronic pain, stress, and alternative medicine.

Chronic Pain Explore 7 books about chronic pain
Stress Explore 11 books about stress
Alternative Medicine Explore 27 books about alternative medicine

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