Managing Chronic Pain in an Age of Addiction
by Purvez, Akhtar, M.d.; Rowlingson, John, M.d. (FRW)

Introduction: A Long Way from Kashmir1(8)
1 Medications That Relieve Pain--and Kill
2 The Opioid Epidemic That Is Killing Us
3 On Addiction Management
4 The Mystery of Pain
5 The Complex Nature of Chronic Pain
6 The Culture of Pain
7 The Stigma of Pain
8 Sad but True--Chronic Pain and Depression
9 Obesity and Chronic Pain
10 Finding the Right Specialist
11 Searching for the Cause of Pain
12 Fibromyalgia Becomes Real
13 Other Pain Conditions
14 Getting Moving--Exercise and Physical Therapy
15 Interventional Pain Management
16 Alternative Management Options
17 Marijuana--the Mystery Drug
18 Pain in the Courtroom
19 Coexisting with Pain
20 Toward a Pain-Free Future
About the Author199

Chronic pain is challenging to treat in the face of an ongoing opioid crisis. Akhtar Purvez’s authoritative account of pain management explores the complex and competing factors involved. He discusses approaches including advanced interventional procedures, non-opioid medications, physical therapy, and behavioral and psychologic support.

Akhtar Purvez, MD, is a researcher, interventional pain physician, author and pain advocate. He is certified by the American Board of Pain Medicine, the American Board of Anesthesiology in Pain Medicine, and the American Board of Disability Analysts. He has been in pain practice since 2002. He is a member of Spine Intervention Society (SIS), American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain medicine (ASRA), and American Medical Association. Purvez has been involved in training physician assistants, medical students, residents, fellows and other physicians. He was Adjunct Clinical Professor at Lincoln Memorial University, TN and writes, lectures, and speaks on radio and TV about pain related issues. He supports pain advocacy, pain policy, training and research.

No one wants to live in pain, but no one wants to get addicted to opioids, either. Purvez, a pain physician, looks at multiple ways to safely provide relief. He notes that the most important question to be answered is, "How can I fix this?" If the response is, "You can't," the next question is, "Then how can I learn to live with this to get the most out of my life?" He also notes that pain is democratic, "unimpressed by account or social standing." Pain management is a serious matter: sedating a patient too much on an operating table can, in rare cases, be fatal. Even seemingly innocuous medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause liver damage and death. Expect to learn a little history: doctors originally just prescribed opioids for cancer pain. It helps that Purvez comes across as a kind and interesting man. A native of Kashmir, which he notes gave the world the mythical paradise of Shangri-La, he writes about the patience and humility he learned in the country of his birth. This is an enlightening and important read. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

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