Over the years, I have read a number of books related to chronic pain. This post compiles together all of my favorites.
Some of these books address science-based, physiological aspects of chronic pain. Others address the emotional and mental impact of pain. And still others revolve around a biblical understanding of chronic pain. Regardless of the focus, each of these books has placed an important role in my understanding of the nature of pain and how we should respond to it.
Check them out. There’s at least one book on this list for you.
This book was first recommended to me by my physical therapist who let me borrow a copy for a few days. Explain Pain was the first time I read about chronic pain in terms of how it impacts our central nervous systems and changes our brains. It was also the first book that taught me about self-management strategies, many of which I still use to this day.
A regular reader of this blog informed me about this little book just the other week. I bought a kindle copy and read it in just one day. It’s a great place to start for people who are first learning how to self-manage pain. It’s simple, practical, and easy to understand. It describes different habits to complete on a daily basis that can be one aspect of managing long-term persistent pain.
Neuroplasticity. It’s a hot topic when it comes to pain management. Scientists used to think that our brains were static and couldn’t change or heal once a person reached adulthood. More recent research has shown this isn’t true. We can change the structure and function of our brains, and this has application to many areas of medicine, including pain management. This book isn’t just about chronic pain, but it’s a helpful introduction to neuroplasticity that can be applied to management of pain. I talk more about this book here.
Neuroplastic Transformation includes ways to practically apply the science of neuroplasticity to management of pain. It includes pages and pages of practical coping skills to help people manage the physical and emotional impact of pain. Highly practical. This is a good book if you want a really in-depth discussion of neuroplastic techniques. More details about this book can be found here and here.
If you want to learn about the use of mindfulness for managing chronic pain, this is probably the best book to get you started. The authors offer a helpful perspective on how to view chronic pain and then provide practical meditations that you can use to manage both physical pain and stress. A CD with meditations is included.
I had no expectations when I started this book and was pleasantly surprised at how insightful it was. The author provides an understanding of healthcare from a Christian and philosophical perspective. I appreciated his advice on how we should seek out medical treatments. Additionally, hearing about healthcare from a doctor was a helpful perspective for me as a patient.
This is one of just a few in-depth, Christian-based books about chronic pain out there. Joni Eareckson Tada who has both quadriplegia and severe chronic pain discusses topics such as miraculous healing, suffering, joy, and her personal faith experiences in this book. It was a breath of fresh air when I first started to experience chronic pain.
This book isn’t about chronic pain. But it is about a topic that all people with chronic pain face. The author’s exploration of grief, loss, and growth in the context of suffering is highly applicable to chronic pain. You can also find my book on grief and loss in the specific context of pain and illness here.
I love this little book on friendship and chronic illness. The author draws on her own experiences with chronic illness to talk about how to develop friendships when you live with physical limitations.
Sorry, not sorry, this list wouldn’t be complete without including the book I released in 2016 ! If you’ve ever struggled with an inability to work as you would like because of physical limitations, this book is for you. It’s all about living a life of work, rest, and service in the midst of chronic pain.
What books am I missing? I would love to hear about the books that have been helpful to you.
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