Advice for managing chronic pain without medication, based on the author’s experience with a neurological condition.
In this health book, Lewis (Peripheral Neuropathy: Daily Tips and Affirmations, 2014) recounts his story of managing the pain related to his peripheral neuropathy, a chronic condition with no identifiable cure. He uses his experience as a guide for others looking to manage chronic pain without drugs. Lewis vividly describes the often-debilitating pain he suffered when he first developed the condition, which was preceded by temporary organ failure and made basic movement impossible. With the help of medication, physical therapy, and neurological assessments, Lewis eventually managed to return home from the hospital, but side effects from the medications he was prescribed meant that their long-term use might be just as detrimental as the condition itself. Over time, in order to manage his chronic pain, Lewis developed a regimen of nondrug interventions—e.g., changing his mindset, meditation exercises, etc.—which he presents to readers as a nine-step program. Visualization is a major technique in Lewis’ arsenal, both as a tool for focusing the attention on positive outcomes and as a method of pain management. The book also addresses the relationship between nutrition—particularly the B vitamins—and pain, as well as exercise, meditation, and deliberate and constructive positive thinking as ways of dealing with a condition that is unlikely to be cured. An FAQ section provides basic information on peripheral neuropathy and organizations that provide support for those with the condition. While Lewis’ approach to managing pain is clearly the result of personal experience, he makes persuasive arguments in favor of the validity of his nine steps, though he never attempts to claim scientific expertise. Chronic pain often confounds medical researchers and practitioners, and conclusive data can be difficult to obtain, but it’s nonetheless jarring to see HowStuffWorks.com cited in the bibliography along with articles from The Clinical Journal of Pain and European Journal of Neurology.
A concise, coherent account of one man’s experience with pain.