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March 26, 1982

The Pain Book

JAMA. 1982;247(12):1766. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320370068046

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This thoroughly delightful book, intended for the general public, addresses a number of important aspects of the diagnosis and management of various painful conditions. The author is a neurosurgeon of long experience and obvious interest and compassion. The discussions are informative, succinct, and clearly written; they lend themselves particularly well to use by physicians and paramedical personnel in explaining to patients the origin and pathogenesis of painful syndromes. The chapters on surgery for pain, acupuncture, and hypnosis are excellent.

I cannot share the author's enthusiasm for aspirin in the treatment of the migraine attack, his faith in methysergide for the long-term prophylaxis of common migraine, or his belief in chocolate as an inducer of migraine in many patients. I do not agree with the rationale he cites for the use of phenytoin and carbamazepine in trigeminal neuralgia, but these are minor flaws in a book bursting with gems.

Most admirable