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A Nation in Pain: Healing Our Biggest Health Problem

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A Nation in Pain

Healing Our Biggest Health Problem

By Science Judy Foreman

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Format: Hardcover, 528 pages
Published In: United States, 01 January 2014
Out of 315 million Americans, 100 million live in chronic pain. And yet the press has paid more attention to the abuses of pain medications than the astoundingly widespread condition they are intended to treat. Sufferers face unending discomfort or even agony. When chronic pain is inadequately treated, it undermines the body and mind from within, even inducing many to commit suicide. Far more than just a symptom, writes author Judy Foreman, chronic pain is a disease in its own right - the biggest health problem facing America today.
In A Nation in Pain, Foreman offers a sweeping, deeply researched account of the chronic pain crisis, from neurobiology to public policy, and presents to practical solutions that are within our grasp today. Drawing on both her personal experience with chronic pain and her background as an award-winning health journalist, she guides us through recent scientific discoveries, including genetic susceptibility to pain; gender disparities in pain conditions and treatments, perhaps linked linked to estrogen; the problem of undertreated pain in children; the emerging role of the immune system in pain; advances in traditional treatments such as surgery and drugs; and fair-minded assessments of the effectiveness of alternative remedies, including marijuana, acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic care. The real magic bullet, Foreman writes, is exercise. Though many patients fear it will increase their discomfort, studies show it consistently produces improvement, often dramatic. She also explores the destructive "opioid wars," which have led to a misguided demonization of prescription painkillers.
Foreman presents a far-reaching but sensible plan of action, ranging from enhancing pain education in medical schools to reforms of federal policies across the board. For doctors, scientists, policy makers, and especially patients, A Nation in Pain is essential reading.

Table of Contents

1. The Enormity of the Problem ; 2. What Is Pain, Anyway? ; 3. The Genetics of Pain ; 4. Gender and Pain ; 5. Children in Pain ; 6. The Mind-Body in Pain ; 7. Opioid Wars - Part I ; 8. Opioid Wars - Part II - Proposed Solutions ; 9. How the Immune System Cranks Up Pain ; 10. Marijuana - The Weed America Loves to Hate ; 11. Beyond Opioids - Western Medicine ; 12. Beyond Opioids - Complementary and Alternative Medicine ; 13. Exercise - The Real Magic Bullet ; 14. The Way Forward

About the Author

Judy Foreman is a nationally syndicated health columnist who has won more than 50 journalism awards and whose columns have appeared regularly in the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News and other national and international outlets. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College, served in the Peace Corps in Brazil for three years, and received a Master's degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. From 2000 to 2001, she was a Fellow in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School. From 2001 to 2004, she was a Lecturer on Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She has also been the host of a weekly, call-in radio show on Healthtalk.com.

Reviews

I cannot call it a standard text book of pain, I cannot call it a book of fiction . . . it is in a true sense a call from the heart, impelling not only the caregivers and the policymakers but also the sufferers of chronic pain along with their near and dear ones, to acknowledge the profundity of such pain and find a reasonable solution to this humongous problem, now considered even larger than cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined, in present-day America. * British Journal of Anaesthesia * 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. * Publisher's Weekly *

EAN: 9780199837205
ISBN: 0199837201
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Dimensions: 23.6 x 3.8 x 16.5 centimetres (0.73 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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