Chances are, you know someone who is dealing with horrible pain. Dr. Cochran’s books are the path to recovery, and have been since 1999 when he wrote his very first book about chronic pain – Understanding Chronic Pain: Stories of Hope and Healing.
In today’s busy world, we often don’t think to look into a book to solve problems associated with pain. Apparently, these books are different, since they have obviously touched so many lives The proof? The hundreds of testimonials on Amazon.com and various other online book retailers.
Below, is the send list of reviews and testimonials from Dr. Robert Cochran’s book: Understanding Chronic Pain.
Dear Unsuccessful Doctors of Sufferers, Dear Family, Friend, or Acquaintance of Sufferer, Dear Abuser or would be abuser,
Dear Employer, Insurance Company, Lawyer, or Otherwise Interested Party,
In his new book Dr Cochran offers case by case several of the thousands of cases he has treated over 40 years in private practice and at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. Addressed as “A Doctor Talks To His Patients”, the book is outstanding in its readability, and the chronic pain sufferer who reads this book will benefit not only in broadening his understanding of the many faces and causes of pain, but of groundbreaking, exciting, and highly effective treatments of such. Combining neurology,psychology, and creative modern pharmacology with vast experience and unwavering, empathetical dedication to his patients, Dr.Cochran herein seems to derive a new etiology-a set of symptoms, physical-neurological-and psycholocical-which NEWLY DEFINE CHRONIC PAIN in what he terms a MIND-SOUL DISEASE, allowing it to be CLINICALLY DIAGNOSABLE, thus removing quite many associated mysteries. The anecdotal histories then describe creative, sensible and very successful, LASTING RELIEF for everything from MIGRAINE to PELVIC PAIN and let’s not forget THE BACK!! His love for his patients, his dedication to them and his specialty, his profound curiosity of the “nature of the beast”, and his fearlessness in choosing new and effective combinations of weapons in attack are thoughtfully placed throughout.
I believe this book will be viewed as more than a milestone in the field of medicine in may ways, perhaps most importantly in establishing and clinically confirming that THE PAIN IS REAL and THERE’S A REASON FOR IT !! Dr. Cochran suggests this gains the sufferer not only a level of dignity unallowed in un-diagnosable and therefore “Questionable” pain, but he apparently then is psychologically boosted into a more promising prognosis–HOW SENSIBLE !!If you can see the enemy-you can take a promising shot at it! Dr. Cochran knows the enemy, and through this book, effectively draws the community of chronic pain sufferers together in conquering it. Relations of chronic pain to past traumas, physical and/or psychological are made. Sometimes quite disturbing truths as sexual or physical abuse, though perhaps not surprising, are exposed in a careful and thought provoking manner.
What an insightful and valueable pile of pages !!
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From this book I learned much about the pharmacology of pain management. There are remedies for chronic pain, and Dr. Cochran provides examples of his practice to show that there is hope. The book also indirectly asks the reader, especially the person in pain, to examine themselves (their pain and health) along the way.
While the book took me through the trials of both patient and doctor, I found the most useful insights of the book concerned, perhaps ironically, the idea of wellness. In particular, Dr. Cochran writes about a state of intense engagement and satisfaction, which he calls “type two mania”– in opposition to the mania associated with manic-depression. For a doctor to have a clear idea of health no doubt makes his choice of treatments much more profound and effective than that of those who simply fear that patients will fall into a pattern of abuse and deterioration. Dr. Cochran believes people will try to do good things, provided they are relatively free of pain.
The mania of wellness is a delicate thing. For many the conditions of their lives do not allow them the ability to pursue the intense pleasures associated with work dedicated to quality and lives given to excellence. For others it is the conditions of their bodies that bring their efforts to painful, unfinished ends. For many, a combination of unfortunate circumstances and crippling pain makes the type of health promoted and practiced by Dr. Cochran difficult, if not impossible, to realize.
Dr. Cochran works like a Freudian trained in neurophysiology. In doing so, he discovers patterns of abuse, often forgotten or repressed, that partially account for the suffering of his patients. Pain, in Dr. Cochran’s model, is situated in the brain. The brain creates and sustains pain to the point that it becomes a pattern. Pain medication breaks the patterns and provides relief. In many cases, the neuropsychological causes cannot be found or addressed completely. Dr. Cochran honestly reveals his difficulties. His narratives frequently trail off at such points, and the reader can hear, in the silences, the doctor wondering.
Of a piece with these lost narratives is the story of the social conditions of health care in America itself. Therapeutic individualism can only partially mask the fact that 40 million people are without health insurance in the richest country in the world. How many people rely on the tranquilizers of common people: cigarettes, booze and God? (In keeping with his narrative style in which difficult questions are at times asked but unanswered, Dr. Cochran references God in the concluding pages– an oblique and haunting reference, I think, to the fact that God has been and continues to be the only available opiate for those who suffer without access to proper medications).
This criticism does not mean to detract from Dr. Cochran’s work. In fact, history shows that what becomes normal for the rich, one day becomes the custom of the ordinary for good and bad. But it does not come easy.
I certainly recommend this book to chronic pain sufferers, social scientists interested in the practice of medicine, and to physicians who struggle with the delicate issue of prescribing controlled substances.
I am so glad that Dr. Cochran wrote this book. Most books of this ilk tend to forget about the patients; relying mostly on treatments, therapies, etc. The ability of the author to speak in normal english is also somewhat unique.
I would like to recommend A Pained Life, a chronic pain journey, as a complementary book to this one. It takes Dr. Cochran’s book one step further by detailing one person’s pain journey through the medical maze and personal roller coaster that is chronnic pain.
My mother had the opportunity to attend a book signing with Dr. Cochran and immediatly purchased the book for me. I have suffered many years with chronic pain but the last 10 months with uncontrollable pain that NO doctor could control. As I read Dr. Cochrans book my first thought several chapters in was “he gets it” and he does, yes it has took years of training, but he used his best tool, his ears! He listened to his patients and learned from them. He puts it all together in this book and shows how our mind, circumstances throughout life, and our daily life affect our level of pain. Any physician can give you pain pills daily but when you swollow them and they don’t help there has to be something else going on. Dr. Cochran explains many different individual circumstances and you yourself will be one or more of them you will relate to, as I did. Read this book, and ANYONE you know that suffers with chronic pain do them a favor and tell them about the book and also, maybe suggest to your doctor to read it, more physicians should always go the distance to help each and every patient to the best of their abilities and as you read this book you will learn that Dr. Cochrans eggerness to continue to learn all he can about chronic pain has allowed him to not only help his patients with some rather serious chronic pain conditions but to write a book about his knowledge and also his ability to share this in a way that anyone can understand what is behind chronic pain, I think in our society today we believe that surgery or pain pills are the only answer to our chronic pain, yes they may be necessary, but remember there is pain and CHRONIC PAIN, those who have it or know someone who does??? READ IT!
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In Dr. Cochran’s book, he explains about different situations that causes chronic pain. He writes it in a way that a person will understand that there is REAL PAIN.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that suffers from chronic pain or anyone that knows someone that does.
For the person that has chronic pain, this book will help you better understand about your pain. After having two serious back surgeries, I am left with chronic pain on a daily basis. This book will let you know that there is a doctor that finally understands what we go through. It will also give you hope to know that you do not have to suffer so much because there are treatments to help with the pain.
I have sometimes felt alone, but this book and Dr. Cochran has shown me that I am not alone and that he really does understands and cares. Also, that I do not have to feel guilty about taking medication for the treatment of my chronic pain.
For someone that knows a person that has chronic pain, it is a informative tool for them to understand how that person is suffering. It will also let you know that the person in chronic pain maybe dealing with alot of issues that are brought out in this book.
It’s wonderful to finally find a book that clearly offers both hope and understandable solutions. It is very readable.
As someone who has a family member who suffers from chronic pain, I found Dr. Cochran’s book to be both enlightening and thought-provoking. I continue to refer to it often and our family benefits from his insights. We have shared those insights with other medical professionals. We are already seeing changes and relief.
This is a different kind of “pain” book. Dr. Cochran truly understands the many layers and facets of chronic pain. He handles taboo subjects with grace and again, hope.
If you want to find meaning in the chaos of your chronic pain, this book will help you (and friends and family) break through the cloud of uncertainty and long-suffering.
If you are searching for answers to chronic pain, you must read this book. When Dr. Cochran described his chronic pain patients, I felt as if he were following me through the day, noting my behavior, measuring my symptoms and writing a book just about me. A habit such as compulsive record keeping, which I always considered a personal peccadillo, is actually a common characteristic of chronic pain patients. The first few chapters described my condition so well, I knew this book was a departure from the endless circle of new doctors, repetitive tests, multiple diagnoses and no solutions.
Dr. Cochran recommends combinations of established, safe and inexpensive drugs. It is incredibly refreshing to find someone who believes your pain is real and has a plan to relieve or eliminate your suffering without surgery or complicated procedures. Two months after I started Dr. Cochran’s basic treatment plan I was completely pain free for the first time in over ten years.
I read this entire book in about 4 hours. The large number of anecdotes made it easy reading. But the real problem with the book is its vagueness on topics the author chooses to write about. A good example is the Mind-soul disease (suitably new-age concept). His explanation isn’t really developed and fleshed out. Because this is not a typical m.d. concept, the author had a special obligation to communicate the nature of this disease and how to treat it. But he simply doesn’t do it. Another example is his critique of opiates as “not very effective drugs.” Once again, he doesn’t explain with any persuasive details and arguments why opiates are not effective. He prefers to use anti-depressants, Klonopin (sister to valium and xanax) and other atypical drugs (atypical for pain).
Most importantly, the anecdotes are simply inadequate substitutes for coherent, persuasive explanations and logic. Also, his dismissal of opiates is irresponsible. Opiates are proven, effective drugs to treat pain–chronic as well as acute. The medical profession has a tremendous problem with getting doctors to prescribe effective doses of pain medication that eliminate or mitigate pain. This book, I feel strongly, tries hard to exhibit compassion for and exploit the emotions of the pain sufferer to satisfy the holistic, new age philosophy of the author. Ironically, arguing against the use of opiates will only encourage patients and doctors not to use medication that will help with chronic pain.
Finally, part of the title of the book “…A doctor talks to his patients” implies that physicians who advocate the use of opiates and who reject mind-soul disease concept (et al) do not communicate with their patients. I suffer from chronic pain and I purchased this book from Amazon without knowing the authors’ biases and premises. I find this book to be well-intentioned, but ultimately insensitive and even cruel to those suffering from chronic pain.
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This book is a fascinating read, with many very intriguing ideas about how chronic pain begins, is perpetuated, and is related to a wide variety of other disorders.
That said, it is important for readers to understand that what is described in this book is NOT the mainstream, modern view of either the treatment or the neurobiology of chronic pain. Throughout this book, there are definitions of medical terms that are decades out of date, broad speculative theories based apparently entirely on the author’s anecdotal experience but presented as fact, and claims about neurobiology that are certainly not anywhere near accepted by current neuroscientists. In addition, many of the treatments advocated by the author are not at all current accepted practice – and often for good reason. For example, the author repeatedly talks about how useful Klonopin is, and gives many examples of using it in patients. There is almost no mention at all, however, of the significant problems that can accompany long term use of this medication – or the fact that most physicians heavily discourage such use because of these serious side effects.
I don’t at all regret taking the time to read this work – as a neuroscience PhD and MD interested in the overlap of chronic pain and psychiatry, I found it a really amazing tour of one man’s experiences with an entire career’s worth of treating patients with chronic pain, and filled with fascinating ideas that I am sure I will carry with me, and which I look forward to learning more about the validity of. But patients and clinicians alike should be careful to read it with a skeptical eye, taking it as a rich collection of ideas and experiences, but not from someone necessarily considered a current authority in the field.
I think the doctor here is being practical the only thing doctor’s have to offer for the most part is medicine and mostly everything else is temporary anyway. This doctor had the compassion to write a book about pain that the average reader could understand. It takes alot of time to write a book and I, for one, appreciate his efforts.
The other day, I came across this book in my physicians office and we started discussing it.
The book in his terms was so fascinating that I bought another copy of it, started reading and was actually lost in it.
Really good book, worth sharing. Talking about a women, whose life changed due to Chronic Pain and making you understand the concepts of pain, how to deal with it and some top-notch medical stuff.
Really useful for students, for patients and every practicing physician out there.
My daughter has recently been diagnosed with chronic pain syndrome and we are at a total loss. This book gave us some sense of security that we are not alone and that it is an international situation, which unfortunately, has no cure. Thank you.
I met Dr. Cochran several years ago, after going to many doctors all my life, and he was the only one to be able to help me. He is presently one of three doctors listed in TN for the Fibromyalgia Association of the US which is a growing concern only recognized the last several years but I have had at least since age 9.
I am impressed with all his learning, experience and willingness to share with the public his knowledge that will make the public aware about pain and that there is help – if you are willing to accept it. After reading his book[s] I don’t feel so bad about myself since it makes one understand what I never understood before. He gives one hope.
His first book is good and leads up to making his second book even better. I recommend that one read both of them. The man acknowledges that he never quits caring, learning and sharing with the hopes for mankind that there is help.
This book is a must read for any one who lives with chronic pain.
this is the second book i have read by dr. cochran. if he writes a third i will read it as well. i am not that much for reading, the thing is he is just all that as an author. his unusual approach to the understanding and treatment of chronic pain is ahead of it’s time. this book is an easy read, and i can relate to so much of it. he is a leader in the field. his outlook and additude has helped mine. his understanding has given me an understanding that has helped me not only to cope with my chronic pain but to thrive with it.
Books like this are very helpful but I would recommend, in addition to Dr. Cochran’s book, A PAINED LIFE, a chronic pain journey. Unlike the snapshots in Dr. Cochran’s book this book describes one woman’s life with chronic pain, living with it and fighting against it.
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