Defeating Pain: The War Against a Silent Epidemic

Patrick D. Wall, Author, Mervyn Jones, Author Plenum Publishing Corporation $24.95 (285p) ISBN 978-0-306-43964-3
How much pain a person feels is not necessarily correlated with the severity of an injury; innocuous stimuli can cause sharp pain; there is no adequate treatment for certain types of pain. To explain these and other paradoxes, British physiologist Wall here presents his ``gate control theory,'' which offers new understanding of how people sense pain in terms of the flow of impulses between nerves, spinal cord and brain. A model of clarity, this helpful guide, coauthored with British journalist-novelist Jones, explains the mechanisms and alleviation of pains resulting from headaches, burns, injury, arthritis, cancer, childbirth, back problems, etc. The book is especially enlightening in discussing the varied ways people react to pain--self-pity, defiance, depression, guilt--and in evaluating pain-relieving options, from opiates to acupuncture, psychotherapy and techniques like TENSA (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimlulation), in which electrodes are taped to the patient's skin to stimulate underlying nerves that supply the painful area. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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