The Great Pain Jack: A self-help mapping tool to assist you and your physician in making an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan of your chronic or acute pain condition
For some people, pain is so much more than just a symptom. The consequences of pain may prove to be both devastating and long lasting for those who suffer from it.
The Great Pain Jack: A self-help mapping tool to assist you and your physician in making an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan of your chronic or acute pain conditionBy J.F. PetragliaAuthorHouse, RRP $20, pp153, ISBN 978-1-46856-871-4
Reviewed by Julie Chan
For some people, pain is so much more than just a symptom.
The consequences of pain may prove to be both devastating and long lasting for those who suffer from it.
Access to adequate pain management is considered to be such an important public health issue that it has been described as a fundamental human right.
One of the essential components to the management of pain is providing education to patients on the nature and course of their condition, as well as the treatment options that are available to them. The Great Pain Jack is a guidebook that was written in an attempt to address this need.
Written by Dr John F. Petraglia, an anaesthesiologist and pain management specialist working in California, The Great Pain Jack is aimed at individuals who may be suffering from acute or chronic pain conditions.
The “Jack” in the title refers to people from non-medical backgrounds who have succumbed to self-treatment of their painful condition, as well as to those whose brains have been “hijacked” due to the inappropriate use of pain medications.
The Great Pain Jack is both easy to read and well organised.
Dr Petraglia begins the book by presenting a brief historical perspective of the management of pain, followed by a series of definitions and classifications of pain.
He describes a typical day in his job as a pain management specialist, providing his readers with an insight into how a pain doctor thinks, and some of the daily issues they are faced with.
This is followed by a series of chapters, organised into regions of the body, describing a range of painful conditions.
The chapters contain an accessible amount of information on symptoms, signs, and treatment options available. Each includes an illustrated pain mapping tool and a pain questionnaire for readers to complete and present to their doctor, as an aid in the diagnosis and management of their painful condition.
In addition, interspersed throughout the book, are a series of case studies that Dr Petraglia has encountered throughout his career that highlight some of the many complexities associated with the diagnosis and treatment of pain.
At 153 pages, The Great Pain Jack is not all-inclusive. For example, although there are chapters dedicated to knee and shoulder pain, there is no discussion of hip or elbow pain. Dr Petraglia does, however, refer readers to his website, www.thegreatPainJack.com, throughout his book for those who may be seeking further information.
Although The Great Pain Jack is not a substitute for appropriate medical assessment and management, it is an honest and informative self-help text.
No doubt it will prove to be a useful starting point for individuals suffering with acute or chronic pain conditions.
Julie Chan, is an anaesthetics registrar at The Alfred, Melbourne
Published: 17 Dec 2012