Why We Hurt: The Natural History of Pain

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9780156014038: Why We Hurt: The Natural History of Pain

A top neurosurgeon and acclaimed author's unique and highly readable study of the paradox of pain, with fascinating anecdotes on childbirth, migraines, cancer, and more.

Medical science has made brilliant discoveries over the last century but as any cancer patient can attest, it has yet to conquer, or even fully comprehend, pain. Beginning with his own battle against severe migraines, and citing numerous case studies of his patients, in Why We Hurt Dr. Frank Vertosick explains how pain evolved, and by highlighting the critical functions it serves, he helps us to understand its value. Well written, expertly researched, and movingly told, each chapter offers an amalgam of medicine, history, anthropology, drama, inspiration, and practical advice on a myriad of pain syndromes, from back pain to angina, arthritis to carpal tunnel syndrome. A skilled writer and compassionate physician, Vertosick believes knowledge is often the first, and best, analgesic, and in Why We Hurt, "he offers fascinating insight into the greatest mystery of all: what it means to be human" (The Seattle Times).

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Review:

If you've been paying attention, you've noticed by now that pain and suffering infiltrate nearly every part of life. Whether it's an executive nursing a quiet ulcer in the boardroom or a wailing child holding a skinned knee on the playground, this uniquely unpleasant signal must be important; if it weren't, we could more easily ignore it. Neurosurgeon Frank T. Vertosick Jr. explains the evolutionary, physiological, and psychological reasons for pain in Why We Hurt: The Natural History of Pain. Not a paean to despair, the book helps to ease suffering through understanding and learning just how far we've come in the short history of palliative practice. Vertosick's long experience working with sufferers of hideously intractable pain, and his own long battle with migraine, provides depth and illustrative stories that draw the reader into what might otherwise be dry medicalese.

It's heartening to see more surgeons like Dr. Vertosick coming to accept the often-strong psychological basis of pain and appropriate nonsurgical, nonpharmacologic treatments for it. Certainly, as in the case of the woman whose trigeminal nerve was eroded by a circulatory tangle, cutting and suturing have their appropriate place. And the author found several years ago that simple acetaminophen was all he needed to stave off his headaches. His gentle explanations and usually uplifting stories help us prepare for our own episodes of suffering. Though it might seem like small comfort, learning Why We Hurt can be as powerful as the strongest narcotic, with no side effects. --Rob Lightner

From the Back Cover:

"Fascinating insight into the greatest mystery of all: what it means to be human."—The Seattle Times

Although medical science has made brilliant progress over the last century, we have yet to conquer, or even fully comprehend, pain. And as much as we fear pain, it remains curiously indispensable. A skilled writer and a compassionate physician, Dr. Frank Vertosick explores this paradox in Why We Hurt, an expertly researched and movingly told study of pain. By sharing case studies of his patients and numerous cultural and medical anecdotes, Vertosick explains the biological nature of pain, its psychological toll, and the myriad strategies we have devised to combat it. From childbirth to angina, arthritis to carpal tunnel syndrome, he puts a human face on suffering and "transmutes the lugubrious subject of pain into a provocative and edifying treatise that tightly engages the reader" (The New York Times Book Review).

"[Vertosick] tells personal anecdotes about his own migraines and crafts stories of emergency room horrors with a deft sense of suspense and timing. [He] is writing for a wide audience, and at least in part for chronic-pain sufferers he ends with an inspirational flourish of advice."—Chicago Tribune

"Fascinating . . . Falls squarely in the territory of Oliver Sacks."—Newsday

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Book Description Cengage Learning EMEA, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.A top neurosurgeon and acclaimed author s unique and highly readable study of the paradox of pain, with fascinating anecdotes on childbirth, migraines, cancer, and more. Medical science has made brilliant discoveries over the last century but as any cancer patient can attest, it has yet to conquer, or even fully comprehend, pain. Beginning with his own battle against severe migraines, and citing numerous case studies of his patients, in Why We Hurt Dr. Frank Vertosick explains how pain evolved, and by highlighting the critical functions it serves, he helps us to understand its value. Well written, expertly researched, and movingly told, each chapter offers an amalgam of medicine, history, anthropology, drama, inspiration, and practical advice on a myriad of pain syndromes, from back pain to angina, arthritis to carpal tunnel syndrome. A skilled writer and compassionate physician, Vertosick believes knowledge is often the first, and best, analgesic, and in Why We Hurt, he offers fascinating insight into the greatest mystery of all: what it means to be human (The Seattle Times). Bookseller Inventory # APC9780156014038

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Book Description Cengage Learning EMEA, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. A top neurosurgeon and acclaimed author s unique and highly readable study of the paradox of pain, with fascinating anecdotes on childbirth, migraines, cancer, and more. Medical science has made brilliant discoveries over the last century but as any cancer patient can attest, it has yet to conquer, or even fully comprehend, pain. Beginning with his own battle against severe migraines, and citing numerous case studies of his patients, in Why We Hurt Dr. Frank Vertosick explains how pain evolved, and by highlighting the critical functions it serves, he helps us to understand its value. Well written, expertly researched, and movingly told, each chapter offers an amalgam of medicine, history, anthropology, drama, inspiration, and practical advice on a myriad of pain syndromes, from back pain to angina, arthritis to carpal tunnel syndrome. A skilled writer and compassionate physician, Vertosick believes knowledge is often the first, and best, analgesic, and in Why We Hurt, he offers fascinating insight into the greatest mystery of all: what it means to be human (The Seattle Times). Bookseller Inventory # APC9780156014038

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Book Description Mariner Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 312 pages. Dimensions: 8.4in. x 5.4in. x 0.9in.A top neurosurgeon and acclaimed authors unique and highly readable study of the paradox of pain, with fascinating anecdotes on childbirth, migraines, cancer, and more. Medical science has made brilliant discoveries over the last century but as any cancer patient can attest, it has yet to conquer, or even fully comprehend, pain. Beginning with his own battle against severe migraines, and citing numerous case studies of his patients, in Why We Hurt Dr. Frank Vertosick explains how pain evolved, and by highlighting the critical functions it serves, he helps us to understand its value. Well written, expertly researched, and movingly told, each chapter offers an amalgam of medicine, history, anthropology, drama, inspiration, and practical advice on a myriad of pain syndromes, from back pain to angina, arthritis to carpal tunnel syndrome. A skilled writer and compassionate physician, Vertosick believes knowledge is often the first, and best, analgesic, and in Why We Hurt, he offers fascinating insight into the greatest mystery of all: what it means to be human (The Seattle Times). This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780156014038

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