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Pain is Really Strange

Written by chiropractor Steve Haines and illustrated by Sophie Standing, this book ‘attempts to look at how pain works and what you can do about it’.

Definitions of pain are covered and the book attempts to simplify complex concepts such as neuroplasticity.

It also looks at how to desensitise the body and retrain the brain’s habitual reactions using movement. It talks about changing the ‘neurotags’ of pain by using more positive language, such as saying ‘disc under pressure’ rather than ‘slipped disc’.

Pain is a biopsychosocial phenomenon. This book embraces the ‘bio’ but not the psychosocial aspects of pain. The profound effect pain can have on mood and on the person experiencing it, in terms of work and family life, is neglected.

This may make patients who are unable to ‘move themselves out of pain’ feel like failures.

The most useful and enjoyable parts of the book are the illustrations. Some of the text is somewhat patronising, so I would recommend carefully selecting who you recommend this book to.

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