Five books for living with chronic pain

Use knowledge to become empowered, find pain relief strategies, and reclaim your life.

Living with chronic pain can be debilitating. Waking up to face the day and struggling to sit up due to back pain is difficult on easy days, and can be downright impossible on bad days. Even with help from your doctor, there may still be days when your pain feels too heavy. If you are ready to take a holistic approach to your pain management, these five books will give you an excellent introduction to strategies from altering your dieting to finding your pressure points.

Stretching to stay young book cover

#1: The Everything Guide to Integrative Pain Management

Written by Traci Stein, PHD, MPH

This is an excellent overview of many different ways to manage pain. It is perfect for someone who either is new to experiencing chronic pain, or who has been living with pain for any amount of time without doing anything about it. Beginning with a guide for talking to your doctor about your pain, Dr. Stein walks the reader through the ways their pain could be improved with diet, exercise, yoga and mindfulness, herbal remedies, and many other coping methods. While other books in this list go into detail on these topics, this book provides a starting point in determining which treatment methods may be of value to each individual reader. Available from Amazon in paperback or Kindle edition.

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#2: The Easy Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Written by Karen Frazier

The goal of this book is to make it easy for the reader to incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into their diet. It is perfect for someone dealing with arthritis or other inflammatory pain. Each recipe is based around one of 15 common anti-inflammatory foods, such as bell peppers and garlic. The recipes are simple and accessible to even new cooks, with only five ingredients per recipe. Frazier also guides the reader through how to find their personal inflammation triggers, and offers suggestions for avoiding them. Available from Amazon in paperback or Kindle edition.

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#3: Stretching to Stay Young

Written by Jessica Matthews

Stretching is key to keeping the body limber and relieving everyday aches and pains caused by physical labor or exercise. This book is an illustrated guide for full body stretching, from your neck and shoulders down to your feet. It is perfect for anyone who feels that their pain is due to stiffness or soreness. Matthews has broken down common and uncommon stretches into easy to understand graphics, with modifications suggested to make exercises more or less intense, as desired. She also outlines stretching routines to do in the morning, before bed, and even while watching TV. Available from Amazon in paperback or Kindle edition.

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#4: Press Here! Acupressure for Beginners

Written by Bob Doto

If you’ve been living with chronic pain for any length of time, you’ve probably heard about acupressure. Author Bob Doto has been practicing acupressure for more than 10 years, and he’s created this guide to share his wisdom on treating not just chronic pain, but also common ailments such as the flu and allergies using acupressure. The book begins with an overview of what acupressure is and where the practice comes from, and then educates the reader on how best to use acupressure concepts their daily life. Available from Amazon in paperback or Kindle edition.

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#5: The Miracle Ball Method

Written by Elaine Petrone

Changing your diet and adding stretching to your routine are wonderful ways to decrease your pain over the long term, but if you feel like you need to do something NOW, this kit is perfect for you. Author Elaine Petrone guides the reader through using two small balls to work tension from your own muscles. This kit includes an illustrated guide and two balls  to help you learn to utilize the balls to their full potential. The exercises are quick and easy, which can be essential for high-pain days. These exercises are especially useful for relieving muscle tension and working out knots in the back, making them a great option for treating acute pain. Available from Amazon in paperback or Kindle edition (balls not included with Kindle edition.)

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The Bottom Line

There is hope for those of us living with chronic pain. A holistic approach to pain management may not be a complete solution for everyone but these five books are a great start to building towards a lifestyle that is naturally pain-free.

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