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Book Review: Paintracking

April 18th, 2012 · No Comments

Your first response to the title Paintracking might be, “Gee, I don’t want to track my pain. I try to run the other way!” But hold on. What you’ll find is a wonderful book on creating your own plan for more comfort and better living. My thanks to Deborah Barrett for writing this excellent resource!

Deborah developed pain when she was working on her PhD in Sociology at Stanford. She experienced the common difficulty many of us have had to reach a diagnosis, which was finally fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndromes. Although an answer to what was wrong was helpful, it still left her struggling to figure out how to handle her chronic pain. This book is how she did just that. Deborah shares her own story of how she both improved her pain and was able to live more fully.

Paintracking is divided into 2 main sections, “Pain-Treating” and “Pain-Living.” Pain-Treating reviews issues such as:

  • what health professionals will help you
  • psychological skills to reduce and cope with pain
  • ways to relax your body
  • how to pace activities
  • how to improve sleep

Pain-Living reviews issues such as:

  • changes to make to your home to function better and easier
  • suggestions for traveling
  • changes to make to your work space and work life
  • issues to address in relationships

The information reviewed in the book is comprehensive. She gives specific guidance, including worksheets and charts. This enables you to individualize the information provided in the book, and it encourages you to actively use the information. The writing is clear, and Deborah is positive and encouraging. I’d strongly recommend this book to newly diagnosed patients as an excellent guide to understanding chronic pain and living well despite it. I also think that even patients who have dealt with pain for a while would learn something new and helpful in its pages.

My only small quibble with the book is its title, and phrases such as “pain-living,” which to me suggest too much of a focus on pain. These could be turnoffs for potential readers who might otherwise really be helped. I think what Deborah has created is instead a “living well” guide, one that I hope you read and work through.

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